HOME > Journal > No.26

"NIHON KÔKOGAKU" 26 Abstracts

[A]: Article, [RN]: Research Note, [ST]: Special Topic

November 1, 2008; 207p., ISSN 1340-8488, ISBN 978-4-642-09101-5
[A]Makoto Murakisummary Regional Characteristics of Isewan Region: Mainly from Relationships with Eastern Japan in Late Yayoi1-22
[A]Mamoru Kimotosummary Mounded Tomb Groups in Kinai Government and Surrounding Areas23-40
[RN]Shimpei Hashinosummary Examination of Stone Knives through Measurable/Non-measurable Attributes and Typology: Study of the Southern Korean Peninsula and Nonhern Kyushu41-67
[RN]Jun Fukayasummary Transition of Japanese Swords with Gold and Silver Decoration69-99
Special Topics: Various Problems of Current Japanese Archaeology101-203
[ST]Tetsuo Kikuchi Introduction102
[ST]Tadashi Nishitanisummary Various Problems of Current Japanese Archaeology: 60 years of the Japanese Archaeologial Association and Its Issues103-108
[ST]The Committee for Protection of Buried Cultural Propertiessummary Various Problems Regarding Protection of Buried Cultural Properties109-130
[ST]Research Environment Examination Committeesummary Conditions of the Research Environrnent of Japanese Archaeology131-153
[ST]International Exchange Committeesummary Japanese Archaeology and International Exchanges: Past, Present, and Future155-180
[ST]Social Studies/History Textbooks Discussion Committeesummary Thoughts on Social Studies/History Textbooks: Description of Palacolithic and Jomon Disappeared from the Textbooks of Elementary School181-203

Regional Characteristics of Isewan Region: Mainly from Relationships with Eastern Japan in Late Yayoi

Makoto Muraki

This paper aims to show the process of the polity formation in the Isewan region in the late Yayoi period by the analysis of Tokai-type tombs and artifacts, which were diffused specifically in the eastern part of Japan at the beginning of the Kofun period.

The author analyzed the spatial and temporal distributions of Tokai-type tombs and artifacts in Isewan region. Each of these Tokai-type tombs and artifacts had a specific place in the origins and distribution area. But, at the end of Yayoi period, the distribution areas of some artifacts changed and expanded. As a result, all of them came to overlap in the nonhern part of the Owari plain and then they diffused to other areas. At the same time, the settlement pattern changed as well and the nuniber of settlements in the northern part of the Owari plain remarkably increased. These trends can be interpreted as reflecting the process of centralization to the nonhern part of Owari plain and the polity formation around that center.

Some Tokai-type artifacts and tombs were invented under the influence of the polities of western Japan, and others were particular to Owari region. As the former were more generally adopted in eastern Japan, the author insists that in evaluating the diffusion of Tokai-type artifacts and tombs, importance should be attached not so much to the influence of the Isewan region as to the mediating role that Isewan region played between western and eastern Japan. Then the author hypothesized that the mediation between western and eastern Japan is one of the catalysts of the centralization and the polity formation in Isewan region. The analysis of the distribution channels between western Japan and Isewan region shows that the northern part of the Owari plain attained the control of those channels after the social strain that can be inferred from the ditched villages in the Isewan region in late Yayoi period.

The author concludes that the centralization to the noldlern Owari plain and the formation of the loosely tied polity around this center co-relate with the control of the distribution channels by the northern Owari plain group.


Mounded Tomb Groups in Kinal Government and Surrounding Areas

Mamoru Kimoto

In past research, it was often thought that the formation of mounded tomb groups was related to rule/control of people buried in the same mounded tomb group. The purpose of this article was to reveal the time and range of the rule/control with actual examples. The subject areas were southern Ise, Tango, and norhern Ise. Ih the study, the relationship between the govemment and the class buried in the mounded tomb groups was pursued while paying attention to movements of chiefdoms in the area.

In this examination, it was pointed out that, although they were both located in the same peripheral area of Kinai, the process of direct rule/control by the Kinai government had different aspects. Therefore, the time of rule/control achieved by the Kinai govemment camot be discussed in each region in the same manner.


Examination of Stone Knives through Measurable/Non-measurable Attributes and Typology: Study of the Southern Korean Peninsula and Northern Kyushu

Shimpei Hashino

The purpose of this article is to examine stone knives of the Mumun pottery period in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and in the Final Jomon to Early Yayoi period in the northern part of Kyushu, and to discuss their dating and regional quality and the emergence process of typological characteristics and techniques, through analysis of typology, measurable and non-measurable attributes. First, a period to which the stone knives belonged was determined by pottery and stone tools associated with them and typology of excavated settlements. Next, after conducting temporal and spatial examination of measurable attributes, standards were created to determine periods of isolated artifacts, and based on these standards, non-measurable attributes and temporal/spatial aspects of typology were exanlined. As a result, the following conclusions were drawn: 1. In the middle phase of the Mumun pottery period, changes occurred in Songguk-ri culture from curved blades to triangular blades in plane form and from single/double sided blades to crossing blades in section form. This indicates the formation of the so-called triangular crossing blade knife. 2. On the other hand, in non-Songguk-ri culture areas, the early phase stone knife continued to the middle phase. However, there were reductions in length and hole as in Songguk-ri cultural areas, and blade backs tended to become straight in all regions. This indicates that the stone knife manufacturing tradition of Songguk-ri culture declined as it spread from the center to the periphery. 3. In the Namgang basin, which saw slightly different changes from other areas of Songguk-ri culture, one hole/abrasion cutting became popular as well as the adaptation of triangle shapes accompanied with size reduction and shape change. Also, regarding the cross section shape of the blade, its double blade showed a unique movement as an effect. 4. Among regions in the south part of the Korean Peninsula, there were the most examples in the Namgang basin to have common elements with northern Kyushu, and there were more common types with northern Kyushu than other areas. 5. However, triangle double blade knives in the Nangang basin used different hole making techniques than that of northern Kyushu, and they are evaluated as a similar but different type.


Transition of Japanese Swords with Gold and Silver Decoration

Jun Fukaya

The purpose of this article is to clarify the transition of Japanese swords with gold and silver plated decoration (kinginso wakei tachi).

Manufacturing of Japanese swords with gold and silver decoration began in the 5th century, with the creation of metal decoration on leather hilts, such as gold-plated miwadema. Decoration of large swords with gold or silver plate progressed in the 6th century, and various swords appeared with different types and combinations of equipment, with the emergence of basic equipment decorated with gold and/or silver and attachment fitungs such as twisted ring (nejirikan). There were differences in decorations on these swords, and it is considered that ranks of swards were formed based on silver or gold plated decorations. The production of gold and silver decorated Japanese swords reached its peak in the latter half of the 6th century, and gold and silver decoration of large swords also reached the peak, represented by the large sword excavated from Fujinoki burial mound. Its whole surface was covered with silver and gold plating. However, in the 7th century, gold and silver decorated Japanese large swords rapidly disappeared from funerary equipment of mounded tombs.


Various Problems of Current Japanese Archaeology:
60 years of the Japanese Archaeological Association and Its Isues

Tadashi Nishitani

The Japanese Archaeological Association summarized its 50 years of achievements in a special featured article published in the Association magazine Nihon Kokogaku N0.6 in 1998, which was the 50th anniversary of its establishment. Also, at the 74th General Meeting of the Association last year, which was the 60th anniversary, Mr. Hatsushige Otsuka gave a memorial lecture on the past 60 years of the Association.

Looking back at the past ten years, there was a shocking incident for Japanese archaeology. That was the fabrication of Early and Middle Paleolithic cultures, which was discovered in 2000. The Association has revealed almost the whole picture of this scandal, and is continuously trying for a new start of research/study. Jomon/Yayoi/Kofun period studies are making steady progress. In this process, there was a proposal to shift dating of the Yayoi period 500 years earlier, and verification processes for this still continue. Archaeological study was not limited to pre-history, but it became used for historical periods, especially to modern and contemporary periods from Edo to Showa.

The various problems of the research enviroument that surrounds us were also reviewed.

Various Problems Regarding Protection of Buried Cultural Properties

The Committee for Protection of Buried Cultural Properties

Since the forerunner of the Committee for Protection of Buried Cultural Properties (the Comnlittee) was formed in 1962 as a subcommittee, the Japanese Archaeological Association has been dealing with various problems regarding protection, preservation, and utilization of archaeological sites for almost half a century. While the social situations surrounding buried cultural properties in Japan were changing rapidly in the meantime, the Association has published Maizo Bunkazai Hakusho (Cultural Properties White Paper) three times, and summarized the history of protection of buried cultural properties.

This article abstracted basic and important problems on protection of buried cultural properties mainly from activities of the Committee, and comprehensively reported matters handled by the Committee in recent years and repeatedly discussed through reports from the committee members and monthly executive meetings.

These matters were quite varied such as excavation research systems and protection administration for buried cultural properties, ways of research organization and institution, maintenance and management of excavated artifacts, natural disaster and buried cultural properties, role of regional museum and historic site maintenance, Iocal history and problems related to buried cultural properties. Every one of these is too important to ignore in order to consider the future of the protection of buried cultural properties, and the Committee intended to indicate our understanding and direction of the protection of buried cultural properties at the present.

While views on these problems were condensed in each part, the Committee's fundamental attitude is that on the protection of buried cultural properties which is the common heritage of the Japanese people, we are convinced that administrative responsibility and reorganization and strengihening of protection system are foremost important. And we should ty to construct a new "ideology on protection of buried cultural properties" based on the belief.


Conditions of the Research Environment of Japanese Archaeology

Research Environment Examination Committee

Archaeological researchers in Japan are placed under various research environments; however, the overall environment has been deteriorating in recent years. So, the Japanese Archaeological Association formed a standing Research Environment Examination Committee. It is continuously discussing the research environment of Japanese archaeologists, revision of museum laws, problems of private research organizations conducting excavations, and excavation research certification systems for buried cultural properties.

In observing conditions of the research environment of local government workers specializing in buried cultural properties, who make up the majority of Association members, one finds that their workloads are increasing since there was no increase in personnel to counterbalance expanded research areas due to the large consolidations of local governments in the Heisei period. Also, there are concerns about uncertain administrative continuity and weakened organizations, since retiring specialized personuel are often not replaced or there is an increase in limited term employment. Also, it seems that the nature of museums is changing from a foothold of lifelong education to a place where economic efficiency takes precedence, as museum hours are being cut back and the nurnber of curators is declining, while introduction of designated management systems is progressing. An uncertain future is resulting in a decline of students majoring in archaeology, and concerns about the continuity of archaeology itself. Although it seems to bring only small changes for now, the revision of museum laws, seeking drastic reorganization of the registered museums and curator systems, shows an intention of making economic efficiency the priority, in the name of museum enrichment. An obvious example is the problem of private research organizations. Even when private research organizations have adequate excavation research technology, they often conduct excavations without information to draw values and issues within an archaeological site. This represents nothing less than a change in the nature of archaeological excavation from excavation of the precious historical heritage left by our predecessors and reconstruction of history left by people in the past to just a process before development. Also, there is a serious concern over the certification system issued by such organizations.

However, improvement of the research enviroument is linked with social movements and governmental policies, and many aspects cannot be solved by the Association alone. Therefore, we cannot hope to improve the research enviroument without grasping the present situation and acting appropriately. In the end, efforts for the improvement of the research environment, which can be carried out by the Japanese Archaeological Association, are mentioned.


Japanese Archaeology and International Exchanges:
Past, Present, and Future

International Exchange Committee

This article reviews past activities and reports of Japanese archaeological results by the Japanese Archaeological Association, as well as archaeological trends in the world and international involvement of Japanese researchers. It also discusses problems and future tasks in each region based on observations. In some regions, overseas research by Japanese researchers started before the Second World War. Although significant nurnber of overseas research has been conducted by Japanese researchers in many regions after the War, these researches were not conducted by the Japanese Archaeological Association. However, much of the researches was carried out by members of the Japanese Archaeological Association. An independent international exchange by the Japanese Archaeological Association began in 1997. In 1999, the International Exchange Subcommittee was installed, and it was transformed to a standing committee in 2007. Here a place was created to discuss and execute international exchange projects as an organization. The Committee has been producing Japanese archaeological excavation result summaries in English since fiscal 2005, and has been holding joint public lectures with related academic societies since fiscal 2007 with the intention to inform results of overseas archaeology back to the public.


Thoughts on Soclal Studies/History Textbooks:
Description of Palaeolithic and Jomon Disappeared from the Textbooks of Elementary School

Social Studies/History Textbooks Discussion Committee

Textbooks used by elementary school students in their classes are edited by the "Textbook Authorization System" based on the Courses of Study. While history study begins in the 6th grade of elementary school, descriptions of the Paleolithic and Jomon periods were deleted from the current social studies textbooks, as the Courses of Study for Elementary School, revised in 2002, indicated that Japanese history should be handled from the Yayoi period on.

As a measure to solve this problem, the Japanese Archaeological Association has submitted a statement to demand a revision of the Courses of Study. Although the situation has improved as a description of the Jomon period was restored in the 2008 revision, handing of the Paleolithic and regional viewpoints are still weak.

The next revision of textbooks based on the new Courses of Study is in three years. The Japanese Archaeological Association has installed a standing "Social Studies/History Textbooks Discussion Committee" to discuss the role of archaeology in history education through analysis of textbooks, and to make proposals for appropriate utilization of archaeological results.