Joumon jidai 繩文時代
KEY WORD : art history / general terms
Lit. cord-mark period. The Joumon period ran from ca. 10,000 BC-ca. 300 BC. The period takes its name from the decoration on the low-fired pottery vessels of the period joumon doki 縄文土器. Dates begin with the time that the pottery was first produced and end with the importation of a new rice-planting culture from the Asian continent (see *Yayoi jidai 弥生時代). The period is divided into Initial or Earliest, souki 早期 c. 8000 - 5000 BC; Early, zenki 前期 c. 5000-2500 BC; Middle, chuuki 中期 c. 2500 - 1500 BC; Late, kouki 後期 c. 1500 - 1000 BC and Final or Terminal or Latest, banki 晩期 c. 1000 - 300 BC. These divisions are a reflection of the changes which took place in Joumon culture as determined by data from archaeological sites throughout Japan. Joumon people knew how to cultivate some plants, but relied mainly on hunting, fishing and gathering for survival. Villages of the period were made up of groups of partially underground pit houses supported on interior posts covered by thatched roofs. Pottery was created for both utilitarian and ritual use. Clay figures, also for ritual use were also developed, displaying regional styles.


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