Vol. 68

New York, N.Y. 

Vol. 68

The Teaching of “Jomon” (1)

The other day I went to Tokyo, I attended an interesting gathering. Under the idea that Jomon period culture forms the foundation of Japaneseness, and if you try to learn in the present Jomon period you will find hints for solving the problems that Japan has today, A person named Kato Haruichi who made the word and started a company came to Tokyo and attended a gathering of them.

Mr. Kato originally worked in a trading company, and he has visited around 60 countries around the world. By experiencing the culture of various countries, it seemed that the feelings about Japaneseness and Japaneseness were deepened. On the contrary, I feel that I feel deeply about Japan by traveling around the world, and in fact I did a lot of study about Japan as a motive and I really understand the feeling. By the way, I think that you learned at the school that you were in the Jomon period before the Yayoi period, but how do you understand how old it is? The answer seems to have been assumed to be a culture that began about 13,000 to 15,000 years ago and about 12,000 B.C. from now (though there are various theories).

.It is the Mesopotamia civilization that is said to be the oldest civilization in the world, but this is said to have started around 3500 BC. The Jomon culture is well over 10,000 years ago, well before Mesopotamia civilization. Somehow, I thought that somehow the Mesopotamian culture was created first, and the ancient Japanese culture was influenced from it, and somehow I thought somehow, but according to Mr. Kato, Jomon culture is the opposite. It was a long time ago, and the continent and Japan were still land at that time, so it seems that this culture was spread over the land. There is a period called the Bronze Age in ancient Greece, which is also one of the very old civilizations that are important in history, but it is said that it also started around 3200 B.C. to 3000 B.C. It will be more than 10,000 years old. It’s amazing.

Dynamic and Passionate Jomon Pottery

You may not know much about the Jomon pottery other than that, because the tiles with simple patterns on the wall with ropes are on the textbook as a representative of this era, but very decorative earthenware It is a feature of this era that many are excavated. Please do a search on the internet once and see by all means. It seems that there was no technology to make the pottery thin at the time, and it is boneless because it is thick, but the shape itself is interesting and there are many excavated items with a sense of movement. There are many cases in which the beautiful pattern is formed by giving unevenness to the edge of the bowl or the outside.

Japanese ancient DNA inherited from Jomon period The famous artist, Taro Okamoto, was shocked when he first saw Jomon pottery and was fascinated by the Jomon pottery as he contributed a paper called “Dialogue with Four Dimensions-Jomonist Theory” to a magazine. Certainly, there are many passionate patterns with flames that are in common with Mr. Okamoto’s work. The Jomon people are hunting people, and their size and strength seem to be as they are in a flexible, free and powerful design. It was a culture of compassionate peace with each other, with no weapons to fight against the enemy. If you think that people came up with the wonderful design so far in the same land of Japan where we live, and made such pottery 10,000 years ago than Mesopotamia, it is not something to be proud of anything. And that thought has inherited the ancient Japanese DNA from the Jomon period.

Originally published as Vol. 55 in Weekly Biz, January 22, 2019; translated by Jim Luce.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz



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