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Ancient Jomon of Japan (Case Studies in Early Societies) Paperback – August 16, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0521776707 ISBN-10: 0521776708

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Product Details

  • Series: Case Studies in Early Societies (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (August 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521776708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521776707
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"comprehensive and well-written...This book represents a break from authoritative and often stifling academic traditions in Japan." Canadian Journal of Archaeology Aubrey Cannon, McMaster University

Book Description

Despite an incredibly rich prehistory covering a period of nearly ten thousand years, modern discussion of complex hunter-gatherer societies has tended to refer to the Jomon of Japan in a rather cursory fashion. This important but accessible text presents an overview of the archaeology of the Jomon Period between 10,000 and 3 00BC within the context of more recent complex hunter-gatherer societies, and aims to bridge the gap between academic traditions in Japanese and Anglo-American archaeology. It represents an invaluable source of reflection on the development of complexity in human history.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jacqualyn Saunders on September 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I am doing some research into the history of weaving -- and this book has some extremely good information on that topic. But what kept me reading half of the night was not just the information I was looking for, but a glimse into a culture little known in the Western world. The author does researchers and just-plain-interested readers a big favor: excerpts from other research originally written in Japanese have been well translated and interspersed with Habu's own research in a style not usually seen in Western books.

And that information covers a really amazing range of topics, from the stunning Jomon pottery (such as the one on the cover), to basketry, weaving, lacquerware, textiles, and other art forms from this culture dating back to nearly 10,000 BCE. Interesting little tidbits (such as the black lacquer was made from the sap of the poison oak tree) are juxtapositioned with stunning assessments of arts you can hardly believe are as old as they are.

Assessible for those just interested in history as well as serious researchers, I'm thrilled to have this book on my shelves!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mouldy Pilgrim on January 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
Junko Habu's "Ancient Jomon of Japan" is a heavily archeaological book, in that it really focuses on the archaeology of the period. This really is a book to avoid of those details really do not interest you. If you can wade through them, or that is what you are looking for, then this book is for you.

There are broad sections, such as mortuary practices, subsistence strategies and trade networks that all contribute to build up a comprehensive introduction to the Jomon people and culture, (which flourished c. 14,500 - 300 B.C.).

As mentioned, Habu does discuss actual sites in detail, and it is here that she builds up a remarkable picture of what people have found and what they have understood it to mean or indicate. In this sense, I found the book to be very interesting and informative.

It is the first book I have read on the Jomon Period, and I found it to be very readable and very understandable. I enjoyed reading it, and I would imagine anyone curious about the Jomon Period would also find it a fascinating book. I can certainly recommend it to you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Habu is an expert in Jomon archaeology, and this book gives new researchers in the field, and non-Japanese speaking readers a great overview of the material culture and the questions in the field in the mid 2000's.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By I. B. Wood on December 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book provides a very good survey of the work that has been done in the study of the Jomon period and provides interesting theories based on the author's reading of the research and her own work. The "but" has to do with Amazon, not the book. The photo shown in the Amazon listing shows the hardcover book with a dust jacket. The picture shown on the jacket is the only photograph of a Jomon pot used in the book. (There are only sketches and photographs of pot shards in the book proper.) The dust jacket also provides the only color image and the image on the cover is referred to several times in the text. The problem is that the book Amazon actually ships does not include the dust jacket. Therefore, the reader is left without this resource while reading the book. I contacted Amazon regarding this and requested that they send the duct cover. They said they could not send the cover but would exchange the book for one with a cover. I agreed with this. Of course, when I received the second book it too was missing the dust cover.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Lemaster on August 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was a disappointed in the fact that all the illustrations in the book were sketched rather than photographed. In an art form such as pottery illustrations are very important!
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