The Material and Spiritual Culture of the Jomon Period
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The existing literature on Japanese prehistory is mostly focussed on describing material culture; this new study surveys the early artifacts and shows that they were either neglected in previous studies or reported of by unfounded and fantastic speculation. The author identifies prehistoric ideas concerning hunting and fishing, the cult of the dead, and the after-life. The cosmological implications of burial topography and stone-circles are as well examined as older written texts from other parts of the world aiding in elucidating the symbols recognized on these remains. This helps to link the Jo-mon materials to other remains of similar or older age from the ancient Near East, China, the Pacific, and ancient America and proves that prehistoric Japan was never really isolated from the rest of the world. Although the method developed in this study, which rejects speculation and bases itself entirely on archaeological remains, permits only the elucidation of a part of the rich spiritual culture of prehistoric Japan; it reveals an abundance of new information concerning the most important religious ideas of mankind: the constant renewal of life, and the belief that death is not the ultimate end.