Home Region:  Northeast Asia (East Asia)

Japan - Incipient Jomon

D G SC WF EQ 2020  jp_jomon_1 / JpJomo1

Preceding:
[Soso-ki] [None]   Update here
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

"Following the discovery of ’pre-Jomon’ pottery in Kyushu and elsewhere, Yamanouchi added an earlier stage that he called Soso-ki (the ’grass-roots’ stage). It has been adopted by some and rejected by others on the ground that the pottery is not ’Jomon’ and that the subsistence system of this phase was Paleolithic-style hunting. Some Westerners use this term, which I call Subearliest in order to distin- guish the phase from, and to show its relationship to, Earliest Jomon. Some prefer ’Incipient’.
"[...]
"By and large, the sites of this phase are rather few, and their cultural content is relatively meager. Bone fishhooks, usually not barbed, were rapidly improved along the northern coast. Arrowheads were small, used more frequently by inland hunters. Plant bulbs and starchy roots were dug with large, adzlike tools that were made of sandstone, slate, or other soft stone. Nuts and possibly seeds were pulverized with grinding stones. Hanawadai in Ibaragi Prefecture is the first recognizable Earliest Jomon community site. Five house pits lying about 10 meters apart contained two successive Hanawadai pottery subtypes, probably meaning that not more than three houses were occupied at any one time. The little bands of occupants could hardly have numbered more than ten or fifteen. One pit is not quite square, measuring 4.6 by 3.8 meters, and has twelve holes for posts. Outdoor fireplaces were used. Seemingly inconvenient bullet-shaped pots stood upright in the soft, loose surface soil. Dogs were kept around the house, the Canis familiaris japonica (small, short-haired, Spitz-like dogs) that were perhaps ancestors of the present-day Shiba.
"Most of the few human skeletons excavated from sites of this phase have been found intentionally buried among the shells, lying on their backs in flexed positions. They dramatize the severe conditions faced by the people of that day. The earliest known Jomon man was uncovered in 1949 below a shell layer in the Hirasaka shell mound in Yokohoma City. He stood rather tall for a Jomon person: about 163 centimeters. His lower left molars were worn down to the jawbone, probably caused by years of pulling leather thongs across them, and X-rays of his bones showed growth interruptions, interpreted as near-fatal spells of extreme malnutrition during childhood. The joints testify to early aging. Virtually unused wisdom teeth are partial evidence for a life expectancy of about thirty years, an estimated average through the Middle Jomon, with an increase of only one year during the next two millennia, until the adoption of rice as a dietary staple.
"[...]
"Koyama Shuzo calculated the population of the Earliest Jomon to be around 21,900. Inhabitants had moved to higher land in the valleys of the lower-central mountains and established communities to the north-east. Concentration in these areas throughout most of the Jomon period can be accounted for by a variety and abundance of plant, mammal, and sea life, where northern and southern environmental zones overlap in central Japan. With the exception of the Latest Jomon, and possibly the Middle Jomon, the Kanto sites are usually more numerous and frequently larger. Over half of the Earliest Jomon population was strung out along the banks of Kanto streams, with ready access to water supplies, for the same reason that earlier and later people - amounting to teeming millions in modern times - congregated there." [1]

[1]: (Kidder, Jr. 2008, 60-61)

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
53 S  
Original Name:
Japan - Incipient Jomon  
Capital:
inferred absent  
Alternative Name:
Fukui  
Kakoinohara  
Kamikuroiwa  
Kamino  
Kosegawa  
Senpukuji  
Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[13,600 BCE ➜ 9,200 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Succeeding Entity:
Japan - Initial Jomon  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [None]  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Language:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
1  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent  
Professional Priesthood:
absent  
Professional Military Officer:
absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent  
Merit Promotion:
absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent  
Examination System:
absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent  
Judge:
absent  
Formal Legal Code:
absent  
Court:
absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred absent  
Irrigation System:
inferred absent  
Food Storage Site:
inferred absent  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred absent  
Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent  
Script:
absent  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent  
Sacred Text:
absent  
Religious Literature:
absent  
Practical Literature:
absent  
Philosophy:
absent  
Lists Tables and Classification:
absent  
History:
absent  
Fiction:
absent  
Calendar:
absent  
Information / Money
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
absent  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent  
General Postal Service:
absent  
Courier:
absent  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
absent  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
absent  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
absent  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
absent  
  Fortified Camp:
absent  
  Earth Rampart:
absent  
  Ditch:
absent  
  Complex Fortification:
absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
absent  
  Copper:
absent  
  Bronze:
absent  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
absent  
  Self Bow:
inferred present  
  Javelin:
absent  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
absent  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
absent  
  Sword:
absent  
  Spear:
inferred present  
  Polearm:
absent  
  Dagger:
absent  
  Battle Axe:
inferred present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
absent  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
absent  
  Dog:
absent  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
absent  
  Shield:
absent  
  Scaled Armor:
absent  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
absent  
  Leather Cloth:
absent  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
absent  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
absent  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
inferred present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Japan - Incipient Jomon (jp_jomon_1) was in:
 (13600 BCE 9201 BCE)   Kansai
Home NGA: Kansai

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Japan - Incipient Jomon

"The Japanese word Jomon literally means cord-marked, a term given to decoration applied to pottery with the impressions of twisted cords. The term was first used in the report of what is widely regarded as the first scientific archaeological excavation in Japan, at the Omori shell mounds near present-day Tokyo, written by Edward Sylvester Morse, in 1879. This term was subsequently used to refer to the archaeological period during which this pottery was used." [1]

[1]: (Kaner & Nakamura 2004, i)


Capital:
inferred absent

Kidder, Jr. [1] lists Jomon communities among "various groups [that] existed on the Japanese islands before one particularly powerful clan initiated a centralization process that led to the formation of the Yamato kingdom." This suggests that there was no capital.

[1]: (Kidder, Jr. 2008, 48)


Alternative Name:
Fukui

These are all names of regional sub-phases of the Incipient Jomon [1] .

[1]: (Kobayashi 2004, 5)

Alternative Name:
Kakoinohara

These are all names of regional sub-phases of the Incipient Jomon [1] .

[1]: (Kobayashi 2004, 5)

Alternative Name:
Kamikuroiwa

These are all names of regional sub-phases of the Incipient Jomon [1] .

[1]: (Kobayashi 2004, 5)

Alternative Name:
Kamino

These are all names of regional sub-phases of the Incipient Jomon [1] .

[1]: (Kobayashi 2004, 5)

Alternative Name:
Kosegawa

These are all names of regional sub-phases of the Incipient Jomon [1] .

[1]: (Kobayashi 2004, 5)

Alternative Name:
Senpukuji

These are all names of regional sub-phases of the Incipient Jomon [1] .

[1]: (Kobayashi 2004, 5)


Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[13,600 BCE ➜ 9,200 BCE]

[1]

[1]: (Kobayashi 2004, 5)


Political and Cultural Relations
Succeeding Entity:
Japan - Initial Jomon

[1]

[1]: (Kobayashi 2004, 5)


Preceding Entity:
Soso-ki

The Japanese equivalent to the Mesolithic period [1] .

[1]: (Kidder, Jr. 2008, 55-58)


Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity

Kidder, Jr. [1] lists Jomon communities among "various groups [that] existed on the Japanese islands before one particularly powerful clan initiated a centralization process that led to the formation of the Yamato kingdom."

[1]: (Kidder, Jr. 2008, 48)


Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

Language:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

It seems most likely that the Jomon people spoke a language similar to Ainu [1] .

[1]: (Hudson 1999, 83-102)


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
1

levels.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

The Jomon appear to have been relatively peaceful [1] .

[1]: (Yoshida and Kaner 2016, pers. comm.)


Professional Priesthood:
absent

Full-time specialists


Professional Military Officer:
absent

The Jomon appear to have been relatively peaceful [1] .

[1]: (Yoshida and Kaner 2016, pers. comm.)


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent

The earliest evidence for a “bureaucratic machinery” appears to date to the late fifth century CE [1] .

[1]: (Steenstrup 2011, 11)


Merit Promotion:
absent

The earliest evidence for a “bureaucratic machinery” appears to date to the late fifth century CE [1] .

[1]: (Steenstrup 2011, 11)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent

The earliest evidence for a “bureaucratic machinery” appears to date to the late fifth century CE [1] .

[1]: (Steenstrup 2011, 11)


Examination System:
absent

The earliest evidence for a “bureaucratic machinery” appears to date to the late fifth century CE [1] .

[1]: (Steenstrup 2011, 11)


Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent


Formal Legal Code:
absent

Inferred from the fact that writing was only introduced in Japan in the fifth century CE [1] .

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)



Specialized Buildings: polity owned

Irrigation System:
absent

"It is clear that cultivation did appear in the Jomon period, but it is equally clear that it remained a minor activity that did not contribute significantly to the growth of social complexity (Rowley-Conwy 2002:62). In fact, Hudson (1997) has that the of full-scale rejection agriculture was one characteristic shared by argued Jomon societies." [1] .

[1]: (Pearson 2007, 363)


Food Storage Site:
absent

Generally speaking, the Jomon stored food in pits that were part of residential sites, not at different sites altogether [1] .

[1]: (Habu 2004, 64-70)


Drinking Water Supply System:
absent

Transport Infrastructure

Inferred from the fact that roads are nor mentioned by a number of sources providing comprehensive overviews of Jomon life (e.g. [1] [2] )--even in chapters dedicated to trade and exchange, only water transport is discussed [3] .

[1]: (Habu 2004)

[2]: (Kobayashi 2004)

[3]: (Habu 2004, 236)


Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent

“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent

“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


Sacred Text:
absent

“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


Religious Literature:
absent

“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


Practical Literature:
absent

“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


Philosophy:
absent

“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


Lists Tables and Classification:
absent

“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


History:
absent

“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


Fiction:
absent

“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


Calendar:
absent

“To all appearances, writing as such, in the form of Chinese Classics, was introduced into Japan early in the fifth century as part of the great cultural influx from Paekche.” [1]

[1]: (Frellesvig 2010, 11)


Information / Money
Paper Currency:
absent

Paper currency first introduced in the 1600s [1] .

[1]: (Snodgrass 2003, 254)


Indigenous Coin:
absent

“Japan retained a barter system until the AD 600s [...]. Inspired by circulation of Chinese cash coppers, the island nation first produced extensive coinage after AD 708, when the Empress Genmyo turned new strikes of copper ore into coins.” [1]

[1]: (Snodgrass 2003, 253)


Information / Postal System

General Postal Service:
absent


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Stone Walls Mortared:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Modern Fortification:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Fortified Camp:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Earth Rampart:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Complex Fortification:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.



Military use of Metals

Metalworking began in the Yayoi period [1] .

[1]: (Mizoguchi 2013, 140)


Metalworking began in the Yayoi period [1] .

[1]: (Mizoguchi 2013, 140)


Metalworking began in the Yayoi period [1] .

[1]: (Mizoguchi 2013, 140)


Metalworking began in the Yayoi period [1] .

[1]: (Mizoguchi 2013, 140)


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful. Making bows that would fit with the highly regularized 10,000-year-long Jomon archery tradition would have required the use of staves that were carefully harvested from plants nurtured during growth [1]

[1]: Peter Bleed & Akira Matsui, ‘Why Didn’t Agriculture Develop in Japan? A Consideration of Jomon Ecological Style, Niche Construction, and the Origins of Domestication’, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 2010, Volume 17, Issue 4, p. 364


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Handheld Firearm:
absent

Gunpowder was introduced in Japan in 1543 [1] .

[1]: (Maruyama 2000, 22)


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Gunpowder was introduced in Japan in 1543 [1] .

[1]: (Maruyama 2000, 22)


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Composite Bow:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Handheld weapons

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful. [1]

[1]: J. Edward Kidder, Jr., ‘The earliest societies in Japan’, in Delmer M. Brown The Cambridge History of Japan, Cambrudge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p. 56


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Battle Axe:
present

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful. [1]

[1]: Habu, Junko, ‘Growth and decline in complex hunter-gatherer societies: a case study from the Jomon period Sannai Maruyama site, Japan’, Antiquity, Vol.82(317), 2008, pp. 575-577


Animals used in warfare

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful. And elephants are not native to Japan or its neighbouring regions.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful. And camels are not native to Japan or its neighbouring regions.


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Scaled Armor:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Plate Armor:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Limb Protection:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Leather Cloth:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Laminar Armor:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Breastplate:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful. [1] [2]

[1]: Kidder Jr., J. Edward, 2007. Himiko and Japan’s Elusive Kingdom of Yamatai (Honolulu: Hawaii University Press). p. 41

[2]: Peter Bleed & Akira Matsui, ‘Why Didn’t Agriculture Develop in Japan? A Consideration of Jomon Ecological Style, Niche Construction, and the Origins of Domestication’, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 2010, Volume 17, Issue 4, p. 360


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent

No archaeological evidence for this. Moreover, the scholarly consensus is that the Jomon were relatively peaceful.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.