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Pre-2. Culture and plant usage in the prehistoric Jomon period in northern Japan and the surrounding environment

Aug. 18 – Aug. 22

Organizer: Shuichi Noshiro (Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute),

Co-organizer: Yuichiro Kudo (National Museum of Japanese History)


Aug. 18Tokyo–Aomori (by bullet train)

visit the Sannai-maruyama site of the early and middle Jomon period

stay at Hirosaki

Aug. 19visit Cryptomeria forest at Yatate Pass

    visit the stone circle at Ohyu of the late Jomon period

    visit Lake Towada

stay at Sukayu spa on Mt. Hakkoda

Aug. 20hike on Mt. Hakkoda visiting Fagus forest, subalpine vegataion, and marshes

stay at Sukayu spa on Mt. Hakkoda

Aug. 21visit Late Glacial burided forest on the eastern slope of Mt. Hakkoda

visit Korekawa-nakai site of the final Jomon period

stay at a spa in Ninohe city

Aug. 22visit to lacquer plantations to see lacquer collection by locals

visit to a studio of lacquer ware (and shopping)

visit the Goshono site of the middle Jomon period

Morioka–Tokyo (by bullet train)


The northern Tohoku district of Japan is one of the main centers of the Jomon culture, characterized by complex hunter-gatherer-fisher society, neolithic stone stools, various types and sophistication of pottery, large construction work, lacquer ware, and management of forest resources. The Jomon culture there flourished in a unique environment often affected by the volcanic activities of Mt. Hakkoda. In this trip, we visit important sites of the Jomon period in this area and observe the present vegetation around the volcano. The Jomon people made huge construction for their settlements and rituals, and we see them at the Sannai-maruyama site (6,000-4,200 years ago) and the Ohyu stone circle (4,000 years ago). Volcanic activities had a huge impact on the Jomon culture, and we see clear change in pottery types and settlement triggered by an eruption of Mt. Hakkoda at the Sannai-maruyama site. Although the Jomon people did not adopt agriculture, as we see at the Goshono site(5,000-4,500 years ago), they managed forest resources around their settlements and cultivated native chestnut trees and the lacquer tree introduced from China. The lacquer culture culminates in the final Jomon period, and we enjoy the mastery of lacquer work of this period at the Korekawa-nakai site (3,000 years ago). Between visits to these sites, we see present Cryptomeria forest, Fagus forest, subalpine vegetation, and last Glacial buried forest around Mt. Hakkoda, and observe present lacquer collection and manufacture.

Expenses: 80,000 yen; including train fares Tokyo–Aomori and Morioka–Tokyo, rental car charges, hotels, three meals

Maximum Number of Participants: 8,   Minimum Number of Participants: 5

The Sannai-maruyama site

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