Vol. 6, No. 2 (December, 2006)

Jomon Culture in Kagoshima and Uenohara Site
Koichi Shinto

Recent excavation results suggest that a unique and advanced form of Jomon culture such as the one found at the Uenohara site might have appeared earlier in south Kyushu, the southernmost tip of the Japanese mainland, than in the rest of Japan.The gradual climatic warming that had begun at the end of Paleolithic period (about 15,000 years ago) caused changes in different cultures on different parts of the Japanese Islands, giving rise to regional differences in culture. Thanks to its geographic location, southern Kyushu was the first to be exposed to the climatic warming and influences of the Black Current. Recent excavation and research results have revealed that the beginning stage (from initial to early) of Jomon culture flourished significantly earlier in south Kyushu than in other parts of Japanese Islands. It seems that south Kyushu was home to a form of Jomon culture that is inexplicable through traditional understanding.What factors made the southernmost tip of Japan the birthplace of the Jomon culture? Its existence there may require a total rethinking of our understanding of Jomon culture. However, the question is challenging and interesting in that it may lead to a deeper insight into the origin of Jomon culture.

Key words: Uenohara site, another Jomon culture, Jomon revolution, Osumi provincial temple built in the Mecca of Hayato tribe

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