The Evolution of Curved Beads (Magatama 勾玉/曲玉) in Jōmon Period Japan and the Development of Individual Ownership
Curved or comma-shaped stone beads known as magatama (勾玉/曲玉) are often considered to have been used as amulets, talismans, or ritual items in ancient Japan. They are connected with beliefs in the magical power of various symbolically represented animals and the celestial world, the moon, or the soul and spirit. Throughout the Jōmon period, magatama were embedded within common household objects and tools as well as ritual items and they were used, lost, or discarded within houses. The specific functions and meanings of the magatama found in Jōmon houses are not clear, but these beads were consistently present for thousands of years in everyday settings where daily household activities were carried out. In Late Jōmon, however, some magatama beads were included in grave goods in northern Japan (Tōhoku and Hokkaidō). This transformation in their role occasionally spread to central parts of the main island of Japan, such as Hokuriku and Kantō. Other bead types made of talc or jadeite had already been buried in tombs since Early Jōmon, but it was not until Late Jōmon that magatama became regularly buried in tombs, apparently being worn by or given to the deceased at the time of entombment. The dramatic increase in the production of these small curved stone beads and their deployment in clusters of grave pits in cemeteries suggest that this was a personalization process leading to more individualized ownership of the magatama. After Late Jōmon, much smaller and more varied magatama shapes began to occur in graves along with other personal items such as combs, pendants, and earrings. The increased production and individual ownership of these body ornaments suggest that the Jōmon people enjoyed relative material comfort in northern Japan.
magatama, comma-shaped beads, grave goods, material comfort, contextual analysis, Jōmon
The charm of the comma-shaped beads known as magatama, found throughout the Japanese archipelago and the Korean peninsula, has long attracted much interest from archaeologists, prehistorians, and the general public. These cashew-shaped stone beads are usually about 2–5 cm in length, and have a perforation through the larger, bulging end for hanging on a cord and wearing as a single pendant or as a chain necklace or bracelet interspaced with other kinds of beads (Ōtsubo 2015:29–30) (Fig. 1). Mizuno (1992:58–62) [End Page 105]
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postulated that the ancient Japanese wore stone beads as talismans since they might have believed in the magical power of gemstones in general.
Ōtsubo’s (2015) recent comprehensive investigation of the stone body ornaments during the Jōmon period (ca. 14,000–300 b.c.), primarily in Kyūshū, reflects the continuing interest among scholars in ancient body ornaments including magatama. Magatama beads in particular excite enduring popular interest because, after having served as important ritual paraphernalia in the Kofun period (ca. a.d. 250–600) this type of stone bead was exalted to the status of one of the Three Imperial Regalia (sanshu no jingi 三種の神器) in Japan. As our knowledge of Jōmon magatama in Kyūshū continues to accumulate, it is important to systematically investigate the emergence and development of these peculiar beads in the eastern and northeastern parts of Japan. Particularly necessary is a detailed study of the precise archeological contexts from which these beads were recovered during excavation. Clarifying the artifacts and features associated with these beads may elucidate the emergence and evolution of magatama beads during the Jōmon period.
By illuminating the contexts of the find-spots of these peculiar stone beads, this study aims to disentangle a transitional process that occurred in Late Jōmon (ca. 2400–1200 b.c.) in northern Japan, during which some magatama seem to have transformed from being collectively owned to personal items associated with individuals. Since their first appearance, magatama were consistently associated with dwelling areas. In Late Jōmon, however, some magatama beads began to serve as grave goods in northern Japan (Tōhoku/Hokkaidō). This trend occasionally spread to the central parts of the main island such as Hokuriku and Kantō (Fig. 2). New significance may be attached to these beads when they are found as funerary goods in the more ritualistic and formalized contexts of burials. Magatama were not discernibly associated with mortuary contexts until this transitional period, even though other body ornaments made of various gem stones, such as slit-earring beads and large jadeite pendants, had already been employed as grave goods since Early Jōmon (ca. 5000–3500 b.c.). The divergence in meaning and function did not occur for all magatama, however; many of them remained household items throughout the Jōmon period.
Some scholars have previously put forward the idea that ancient people interred magatama, particularly those made of jadeite, in graves as a symbol of high status or wealth (Sakaguchi 2011). The transition from ordinary household good to funerary good was not caused by an increase in status or wealth differences, however. Instead, this evolutionary step coincided with and was probably enabled by expanding trade networks and an increase in the production of smaller stone beads. There was a dramatic increase in the production of small stone beads and their deployment in clusters of grave pits in cemeteries during Late Jōmon. It appears that magatama became personally-owned items during this period, as indicated by their association with single burials along with increased use of other personal items such as combs, pendants, and earrings as grave goods. After Final Jōmon (ca. 1200–300 b.c.), however, various types of both utilitarian and ritual objects, including pots, stone tools, stone rods, and dogū 土偶 (clay figurines), were increasingly mixed with personal items in graves.
By placing body ornaments in individual burials, such objects could no longer re-enter circulation and their ownership could no longer be transmitted to others. It is not known when the body ornaments in tombs became associated with the tomb [End Page 107] occupants in terms of the use-life of the objects, however (Gosden and Marshall 1999). The objects may have been given by the living to certain individuals at the moment of their deaths or they may have been used by the grave occupants while they were still alive, perhaps as intimate, personal items.
The development of ownership of personal ornaments in antiquity is a topic that has not received much attention in archaeological discussions. The anthropological theme of property for the most part addresses the ownership of land or people; much is still to be learned regarding collective or individual possession of portable objects. Given the strong interest in material culture studies in anthropology, understanding the development of group or personal ownership of artifacts, particularly personal items like body ornaments, would shed light on the various forms of attachment between persons and things (Brightman et al. 2016:11). [End Page 108]
The use of body ornaments can be connected with various aspects of status, identity, and ritual. For instance, when the use of body ornaments is not widespread, it may be that individual ownership is restricted to particular segments of the society. Such unequal access to objects may entail the artifacts as symbols of status and wealth or as markers of group affiliation. It is also often difficult for archaeologists to determine whether body ornaments in ancient societies functioned only as decorative items or as amulets and talismans. Harunari (1997), for example, postulates that body ornaments were believed possessed of magical power in addition to serving as symbols of successful hunting and abundant harvest. Since body ornaments can serve as shamanistic and ceremonial items, their unequal social distribution can be studied as an aspect of the emergence and changing nature of religious specialists (Santos-Granero 2009).
Interpretations of the shift or overlap between collective and individual ownership of ornamental objects may extend beyond status, identity, and ritual. The change from collective to individual ownership may indicate a concomitant shift in the meaning, function, and context of use of body ornaments. For example, a stronger association of certain types of body ornaments with individuals rather than with social segments such as family, household, kin, and so on may suggest a wider circulation and greater availability of the material or rising popularity of the items. It may also indicate a general increase in wealth or in the overall material culture of the people who owned and used the ornaments.
explanations regarding magatama
Due to the association of magatama with elite mortuary customs and Shintō rituals as early as the mid-first millennium b.c. in Japan, many scholars have previously proposed theories that focus on their use in religious rites and possible underlying beliefs in an attempt to account for the meaning, symbolism, and function of these artifacts. These explanations can be divided roughly into two groups. The first group sees the meaning and function of magatama as derived directly from their unique shape and asserts that these beads represent a specific object. The second group asserts that the comma-shape has nothing to do with the meaning and function of the beads. Both representational and non-representational theories have tended to focus on possible cultic and religious purposes of magatama.
Takioto (2012) lists some well-known theories in both groups. Representative accounts treat the magatama shape as emulating a bear- or wolf-fang, fish or fish-hook, animal liver, crescent moon, constellation, or fetus, spirit, or soul. As well as suggesting a specific referent for the magatama symbol, these accounts explore connections with beliefs in the magical powers of symbolically-represented animals, the moon or the celestial world, or the soul and spirit. Non-representational accounts suggest that the meaning of magatama is not patterned after any specific shape, but that people may use magatama for specific purposes, such as to possess their magical powers, contact and pacify gods and the dead, exorcise evil spirits, restore youth, pray for a safe journey or good harvest, or securely attach the soul to the body.
When scholars discuss the evolution of these beads from the Jōmon to the succeeding Yayoi period (ca. 300 b.c.–a.d. 250), some have emphasized their different uses and meanings between these two periods. Kinoshita (2000) considers Jōmon magatama to be individual body ornaments used by the living as necessary magical devices for preserving life by hooking the soul. The general absence of these items in [End Page 109] burials in the Kyūshū region during the Jōmon period supports this idea, since the function of magatama as life-preserving charms would have ended with death. She further proposes that this magical function was lost at the turn of the Yayoi period when magatama transformed into status-oriented body ornaments for elites.
Fujita (2013), on the other hand, links the different uses of magatama to subsistence strategies, stating that Jōmon examples represent wild animals and hunting game, while those in the Yayoi period served as group ritual objects connected with agrarian village life. Fujita proposes that the ownership of magatama became collective as these items began to play a role in communal rites in farming villages during the Yayoi period. In the same vein, Kawamura (2010) suggests that, whereas the Jōmon people wore magatama on an individual basis, the Yayoi people wore them as collectively-owned objects, representing their familial and other group affiliations in social relations. The use of these objects is, according to Kawamura, linked to the expression of identity in cultural and social interactions with immigrants from the Korean peninsula at the onset of the Yayoi period.
the evolution of magatama
Curved, ornamental stone beads in their archaic forms and materials first appeared at the beginning of Early Jōmon (ca. 5000–3500 b.c.) and became widespread by Late Jōmon (ca. 2400–1200 b.c.) in the Japanese archipelago (Esaka 1989; Fujita 2013; Suzuki 2004a). According to Takioto (2012:13), the earliest magatama are often made of talc and appear in a dogleg-shape (Type A in Table 1) or C-shape (Type B in Table 1). The dogleg shape is commonly understood as representing a canine tooth, while the C-shape is thought to be a recycled half of a slit (ketsujō) earring (Fig. 1a).
During Middle Jōmon (ca. 3500–2400 b.c.), considerable technological improvement led to manufacturing beads out of jadeite. The highest quality hard stone comes from the Itoi River region in Hokuriku; this area has been the source of jadeite for magatama since the Jōmon period. In Late and Final Jōmon, not only did the variety of materials used for magatama production significantly increase to include jadeite, nephrite, serpentine, agalmatolite, quartzite, and slate, but the shapes of the beads also became more variable (Esaka 1989; Fujita 2013; Kawamura 2010; Suzuki 2004a). For example, L-shaped magatama (Type D1 in Table 1) appeared often in eastern Japan, while U-shaped ones became common in Kyūshū (Matsumoto 2000:131) (Fig. 1e). During these times, magatama began to be buried in tombs, largely in eastern and northern Japan.
Ōtsubo (2015:3) systematically presents the emergence of a “Kyūshū brand” of stone beads used in body ornaments and describes its spread from Kyūshū to eastern Japan during Late and Final Jōmon. The Kyūshū style was created when small comma-shaped (magatama), cylindrical, and round beads were circulating widely throughout the island. The style involved combining magatama with cylinder beads made of fuchsite (a variety of the mineral muscovite) into sets for bodily ornamentation. Unlike earlier ornamental bead types that evolved in eastern Japan and were exported westward to Kyūshū, Ōtsubo contends that this “Kyūshū brand” represents the transmission of influence in the reverse, eastward direction.
Magatama that were standardized in terms of form and material became a major component of grave goods in Kyūshū during the Yayoi period (ca. 300 b.c.–a.d. 250). At this time, the jadeite stone type was incorporated into preexisting morphological traits from the preceding Jōmon period (Kawamura 2010:21). According to Kinoshita (2000:197–198), [End Page 110]
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the “standardized” version of the bead typically has a spherical head with a tapering hook (see Fig. 1b, c, d). Standardized magatama are often green in color, over 3 cm in length well-polished, and have grooves radiating from the perforation. Unlike in eastern and northeastern Japan, the inhabitants of Kyūshū did not put magatama beads in tombs prior to the Yayoi period (Matsumoto 2000:139; Ōtsubo 2006:152). However, by late Yayoi, magatama had become a component of sumptuous funerary offerings, including bronze mirrors and bronze daggers that were deposited in mounded elite tombs.
Theories concerning the evolutionary sequence of magatama are manifold. Scholars are particularly in disagreement regarding the continuity or discontinuity of this bead type in the transitional phase between the Jōmon and the Yayoi periods. After Mori (1980) defined and classified magatama types into these consecutive time periods, a number of scholars argued for there having been continuity from the earlier to the latter types (Fujita 2008, 2013; Kawamura 2010; Kinoshita 1987, 2000, 2003; Koyama 1992). The claim that Yayoi magatama developed out of the Jōmon model was based largely on similarities of shape and other morphological traits, such as incised lines radiating from the perforation (see incised lines in Fig. 1b, c), as well as on continuities in manufacturing techniques. Suzuki (2004a:25), for instance, treats the “Jōmon magatama” as a transitional type between the curved stone beads of Middle Jōmon to the more standardized Yayoi model. Kawamura (2010) argues that the Yayoi style emerged when jadeite stone imported from the Itoi River region was used to make beads in the same shapes as preexisting Jōmon models. While treating this as a unique local development in northern Kyūshū, Kawamura admits there may have been influences from the Korean peninsula, including a newly introduced manufacturing technique used in bead production.
Kōmoto (1992) and Matsumoto (2000) disagree with Kawamura in attributing the emergence of Yayoi stone beads including magatama in Kyūshū to greater cultural influence from the Korean peninsula. Considering a variety of stone types and ritual uses of the stone ornaments, Ōtsubo (2007, 2010) concludes that these stone objects evolved under strong influence from eastern Japan during late Late Jōmon (ca. 1800–1500 b.c.), but that these beads changed to peninsular types along with the transmission of agricultural rituals from the peninsula during the succeeding late Late to Final Jōmon (ca. 1500–300 b.c.).
Comma-shaped beads are called gogok 曲玉 in Korean; a number of arch-shaped or half-moon-shaped beads made of amazonite stone have been found associated with dolmens and pit burials in the Korean peninsula dated after the eighth century b.c. (Esaka 1989:47; Fujita 1992:142; Kodera 2006:1; Ōtsubo 2001:fig. 2). It is not clear if these incipient models evolved to become the much later types found in the royal tombs of the Three Kingdoms era (ca. a.d. 300–668). A considerable number of gogok are known, primarily from mounded elite tumuli of this era across the southern regions of the Korean peninsula (Douglas et al. 2002; Lee 2012; Park 2008; Yi 2009). Based on the chronological distribution of these beads and on the absence of production centers and jadeite sources in relevant areas of the peninsula, Park (2008:129–131) argues that the latter types found in royal tombs were imported from the Japanese archipelago. As is the case with contemporary magatama in Japan, the production of these beads largely employed jadeite, most likely from the Itoi River region in Japan, but they also utilized other semi-precious stones, including agate and quartz (Kawamura 2014). Dozens of these beads were used to decorate gold crowns found in elite tumuli such as the Gold [End Page 115] Crown Tomb, the Great Tomb at Hwangnam, and the Heavenly Horse Tomb, all of which are located in Kyongju, the capital of the Silla Kingdom (ca. a.d. 300–668) (Kadota 2005). The use of gogok ornaments in the southern parts of the peninsula declined after the sixth century a.d. (Kadota 2005).
In the Japanese archipelago, the increase in production and use of both jadeite and non-jadeite magatama starting in Late Jōmon culminated in large quantities and standardized forms of these beads being produced during the Kofun period (ca. a.d. 250–600). Many archaeological studies have centered on Yayoi and Kofun examples excavated from workshops (Katō and Yanagiura 2011), residential areas (Sakurai 2004), and elite burials (Nago 2002; Takioto 2012; Tatsumi 2003, 2006). Their frequent inclusion as grave goods in mounded elite tombs strongly suggests that owning and wearing these stone ornaments became associated with the expression of high status, prestige, and power.
In addition to their use as expressions of status and power, there is little doubt that by the fifth century a.d., religious or ritual specialists also used these beads in funerary arrangements. The evidence comes from haniwa figurines in Kofun tombs that are adorned with magatama worn around their necks on a single strung pendant or as a multi-bead chain necklace, often interspaced with beads of different shapes (Fig. 3). Both male and female haniwa figures are depicted wearing these beads, but they appear more frequently on so-called “shamaness” or “shrine maiden” figurines wearing formal attire (Fujita 2008:99–100; Saitama 1998:69). Shamaness haniwa are often simultaneously equipped with other cultic paraphernalia such as small cups, circular mirrors, and flat, square-shaped hair ornaments. Examples include haniwa unearthed in the mounded tumuli at Tsukamawari in Gumma Prefecture and Iizuka in Tochigi Prefecture (Gunmaken 1980; Tochigi 2013:35). Unlike such clay haniwa figurines, the dogū figurines produced during the Jōmon period do not exhibit magatama beads. Different uses and ideas attached to dogū figurines may explain their absence.
The bronze mirror, bronze dagger, and jadeite magatama had become significant symbolic objects by the eighth century a.d. These are famously known today as the three items of Imperial Regalia and are closely associated with Shintō rituals (Inada 2008). Archaeological data has proven that Han bronze mirrors and Korean bronze daggers already had pronounced cultural significance by the mid-Yayoi period. Serving primarily as symbols of the ruling class, gift-giving networks introduced these artifacts and circulated them widely across the archipelago. Stone beads may have represented local powers, while mirrors and daggers symbolized associations with macro-regional hegemonies. According to Fujita (2000, 2008:98), a passage in the Book of Wei (Wei-zhi 魏志) account mentions curved beads possibly made of jadeite: “five thousand white gems and two pieces of carved jade” (白珠五千孔青大句珠二枚). This is evidence that this object typem ay already have begun to serve as a representative product of the land of Wa (Japan) by the third century a.d. (Tsunoda et al. 1958:9). After around a.d. 600, magatama were occasionally added to Buddhist statues as decorative ornaments, but, as in Korea, they gradually disappeared in Japan.1
Even though stone magatama went out of use, their standard shape seems to have survived in other symbolic depictions. Interlocking comma-shapes frequently appeared as religious and family emblems in ancient China and Japan, including the Shintō tomoe symbol. In contemporary Japan, stone magatama have recently regained popularity particularly among young women and children, who own and wear them as talismans, charms, or amulets. [End Page 116]
the magatama transition in late jōmon
When magatama first emerged during Early Jōmon, their numbers were quite limited. Their scarcity and sporadic presence in domestic contexts suggest that they were owned at the household level rather than by individuals. Magatama are rarely found in graves from Early to Middle Jōmon, despite the fact that other types of stone beads [End Page 117] were buried with the deceased. Many archaeological sites including Kuwano and Negoyadai show the inhabitants having been interred with large jadeite pendants as well as cylindrical, spherical, and slit-earring beads (Asano 2004:31). Magatama show little association with the realm of the dead during those periods; instead, they consistently appear in domestic contexts within the framework of everyday activities in residential areas.
Starting in Late Jōmon, the use of some magatama deviated from this long-term household tradition and they became fundamentally associated with mortuary rituals. They were added to funerary items such as other stone-bead types and combs to accompany certain deceased individuals, as had long been the custom in northern Japan. This new development linking magatama to funerary rituals seems to have immediately spread to other regions including Hokuriku and Kantō, but it was not as widely practiced there as in northern Japan. Furthermore, the transition in meaning and function of magatama did not apply to all of them; many magatama continued to appear in the same household settings as before, suggesting that they remained family items at the same time as they became included in ritual funerary contexts. A concomitant increase in the production of small stone beads, including magatama, may have facilitated their becoming personalized possessions. As personal possessions, that they became mortuary goods accompanying individuals in the more formalized contexts of funerals can be interpreted that the Jōmon people began to consider these beads as personal possessions used by the owners while alive.
context of magatama during the jōmon period
To understand this transitional process, this study focuses on the circumstances and types of magatama excavated at Jōmon sites located in the eastern half of the Japanese archipelago, including the Hokuriku, Chūbu, Kantō, Tōhoku, and Hokkaidō regions (Fig. 2). The “archaic” magatama of Early and Middle Jōmon are concentrated at Jōmon sites in these regions. Changes in forms and usage of magatama seem to have originated in northern Japan in Late Jōmon and gradually spread west and southwest after Final Jōmon into the Yayoi period.
Ornaments are categorized as magatama if they have one end that is slightly larger than the other end, and if there is a clear contrast between an outer convex edge and in inner concave edge between the two rounded ends. Excluded from these examples are a number of stone beads with circular or semi-circular shapes that were clearly recycled slit earrings (Fig. 1a).2 Slit earrings are often the most common stone-bead types of Early and Middle Jōmon. However, these beads are not included in this study since they were initially made for different purposes and it is not clear how they are situated in the evolution of early magatama.
This study also excluded a large number of samples for any of the following five reasons: (1) the beads were made of non-stone materials such as clay or amber; (2) the shapes of the reported beads could not be confirmed as magatama; (3) their find-spots were still unclear or their contextual information has been completely lost; (4) they were acquired from surface collections; or (5) their time periods were not precisely established and therefore stretch between sub-periods (e.g., Late–Final Jōmon). Thus, the examples presented here do not represent a comprehensive dataset and data collection is still ongoing. More examples with precise contextual and chronological information are needed to further illuminate the evolution of Jōmon magatama. [End Page 118]
Archaeological finds of stone magatama, especially in their initial stage of occurrence, are not numerous and those unearthed in direct association with archaeological features are rarer still. Suzuki (2004a:26) and Fujita (2013:77) put together some representative examples dating to Early and Middle Jōmon. Their lists exhibit some well-known cases, but the contextual information for each of these pieces is largely missing. Their figures demonstrate the difficulty of compiling a comprehensive list of early magatama, due mostly to the uncertainty about dating and ambiguity in classifying the shapes of beads as magatama from these early time periods.
Nevertheless, a total of 157 magatama with known proveniences and time periods were retrieved from published excavation reports. These include ten examples from ten Early Jōmon sites, 17 examples from 11 Middle Jōmon sites, 43 examples from seven Late Jōmon sites, and 87 examples from 23 Final Jōmon sites. Even though many of the examples are described simply as coming from cultural layers without clear association with specific features, the data provide general patterns regarding time periods, find-spots, forms, and stone types of these bead ornaments.
Based on morphological traits, I classified the 157 examples into six types (A–F in Table 1). Morphological traits include: lines and notches in the inner edges of each bead, thickness length, and perforations. Type C was divided into three subtypes, C1, C2, and C3, based on the shape of the inner edge. I also classified types D and E into two subtypes each (D1, D2, E1, E2). Type D2 has a less pointy end and is broader overall than Type D1, so it exhibits a boot-shape rather than the hook-shape of Type D1. The difference between subtypes E1 and E2 is the location of the perforation. The lengths of the beads were measured and the range in length among the bead examples for each type was noted.
More examples of Type A and Type B occur during Early (ca. 5000–3500 b.c.) and Middle (ca. 3500–2400 b.c.) Jōmon, while Type C1 is consistently seen throughout all Jōmon sub-periods. Similar in shape to C1, C2 and C3 became common during Late Jōmon (ca. 2400–1200 b.c.). Type D1 emerged in Middle Jōmon and its variant Type D2 after Late Jōmon. E1, E2, and F also became numerous only after Late Jōmon. Overall, all types, except Types A and B occurred much more frequently in Late and Final Jōmon (ca. 1200–300 b.c.) than in earlier periods. Regardless of morphological type, Jōmon magatama became larger during Middle Jōmon (ca. 4–7 cm in length). After Late Jōmon, there was a clear reduction in size (ca. 1–4 cm in length) across morphological types, but their numbers progressively increased for many of the types.
Magatama During Early and Middle Jōmon
Among the 27 examples excavated from the Early (ca. 5000–3500 b.c.) and Middle Jōmon (ca. 3500–2400 b.c.) sites, nine examples were reported from pithouse contexts (Tables 2, 3). Magatama first appeared in Early Jōmon. These early examples were unearthed in house contexts that are described as within pit-houses or in the fills of pithouses. While these early examples were often associated with other types of stone ornaments such as slit earrings, they were also always found embedded among a variety of both utilitarian and ritual objects in domestic settings, including pots, dishes, pounders, scrapers, spoons, arrowheads, axes, weights, stone rods/swords, and dogū figurines. [End Page 119]
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During Early and Middle Jōmon, magatama may have occasionally been buried in tombs, but it seems to have been very rare and they do not seem to have been buried with other grave goods. For Early Jōmon, one from Hakodatekūkō was reported from a pit located within a cluster of pit-houses, but this pit showed no sign of having been a tomb (Hakodate Hakubutsukan 1977:328–329). The Izumiyama site reports the first and only example of a magatama coming from a grave pit dated to Middle Jōmon (Aomoriken Kyōiku Iinkai 1976:44, 163). Besides the magatama bead, nothing else was found in this grave pit, so there is uncertainty even regarding defining the pit as a grave pit. However, this magatama dates to the very end of Middle Jōmon. It likely represents an early example of the transitioning usage of some magatama starting in Late Jōmon. As noted above, the custom of depositing stone beads to accompany the deceased had existed since Early Jōmon for non-jadeite beads and since Middle Jōmon especially for jadeite ones throughout the archipelago, but magatama were mostly not part of the funerary beads of Early and Middle Jōmon.
Unfortunately, the remaining 16 examples came from cultural layers without clear association with specific features. Nonetheless, at least half of their find-spots are located within residential areas, mostly in close proximity to pithouses or to pits that may have been pithouses. One clear exception to this is the example that was unearthed in a wet-field at Miyato in Hokkaidō (Hokkaidō Maizō Bunkazai Sentā 2003:150).
A variety of morphological types of magatama is present during Early and Middle Jōmon. Many of the Early Jōmon examples have shapes that resemble a half of a slit earring or a canine tooth. These shapes became much less common after Middle Jōmon. Early Jōmon magatama also tend to be slender in shape, compared to the broader ones of the later sub-periods. The location of the perforation tends to be at the furthest end of the “head” (broadest part), but this pattern seems to have disappeared after Middle Jōmon.
The Middle Jōmon examples show a greater variety in morphological types, including the first appearance of the comb-, animal-, hook-, J-, and L-shapes, as well as lines in the head. Particularly noticeable during this period is the large size of some of the beads. This clearly reflects the widespread trend during Middle Jōmon of producing large pendants (taishu 大珠), many of which were over 5 cm long. The large stone pendants produced during this time period were made primarily of jadeite, along with some of talc, mudstone, or serpentine.3 Their forms include leaves, triangles, axes, and magatama (Kurishima 2004; Suzuki 2004b). Kawarabuki (2004) collated data on over 250 such large beads reported from graves, pit-houses, stone structures, and pots buried in the ground. Many of the large pendants came from graves. In some instances, their precise positions in relation to skeletal remains indicate that the deceased had them on their bodies at the time of inhumation (Fujita 2006; Kawarabuki 2004). Table 4 shows a list of Early–Middle Jōmon sites where large pendants were reported from both grave pits and pithouses. The equal presence of the large pendants in both mortuary and domestic contexts differs from the situation of contemporary magatama in the same regions that came almost always from houses, not from graves. The large pendant type gradually fell into disuse during Late Jōmon, as though the magatama being produced in larger quantities had taken over the role of the large pendants in accompanying the deceased.
Like the large pendants, Early and Middle Jōmon magatama were made of various stone types, including serpentine, talc, chalcedony, jadeite, and green tuff. There is a degree of uncertainty in the determination of the stone types in some cases, but [End Page 125]
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serpentine and talc are the most common minerals, particularly during Early Jōmon. In addition to the various stone types seen in Early Jōmon, magatama examples made of jadeite and tuff also emerged in Middle Jōmon. The jadeite examples do not show any difference from other contemporary magatama types in terms of their location of find. In general, there is no correlation between stone types and their contexts of find.
Magatama During Late and Final Jōmon
A few notable sociocultural trends clearly demarcate Late-Final Jōmon from preceding Early-Middle Jōmon. For example, the Early-Middle Jōmon centers of prosperity were located in central Japan. They moved to two separate regions, one centered in northern Tōhoku and another in central Kyūshū, during the Late and Final Jōmon (Imamura 1996:111–125). Late and Final Jōmon also witnessed the production of small beads including magatama in progressively larger quantities across the Japanese archipelago (Esaka 1989; Esaka and Watanabe 1998). This tendency was probably a result of expanding trade networks. As a result of a climatic change during this time period, hunter-gatherer-fishers began actively participating in supra-communal interactions (Uchiyama 2008). Another socio-cultural change was the physical separation of burial and ritual locations from mundane living spaces in Late-Final Jōmon settlements in northern Japan (Nakamura 2009). According to Nakamura (2009), a pronounced social differentiation was expressed in mortuary practices in association with this physical distance.
To compare with the general trends observed among the Early-Middle Jōmon magatama and understand the transitional process through which these artifacts became integrated into the realm of the deceased, this study also investigated the circumstances of find and types of magatama dating to the Late (ca. 2400–1200 b.c.) and Final (ca. 1200–300 b.c.) Jōmon periods (Tables 5, 6). Demarcation between these sub-periods is often unclear in the reports. They are often presented as a single subperiod (e.g., Late Final) for many of the sites. As was the case with the clustering of Early and Middle Jōmon examples in northern Japan, the distribution of the Late and Final Jōmon samples are also predominantly seen in the northern regions.
Burying magatama in graves became radically salient in Late Jōmon. This practice is especially associated with clusters of burial pits in cemeteries. These burial pits were generally not very large and, when skeletal remains are preserved, usually contained only one individual, sometimes two, in a flexed position. Among the 130 examples of magatama from Late and Final Jōmon sites, 92 have been unearthed from grave contexts. This new location of find for magatama developed in Late Jōmon and became prevalent during Final Jōmon. Many of the Late–Final Jōmon sites where magatama were found in graves are located in northern Honshū and Hokkaidō. The practice of entombing these stone items with corpses seems to have burgeoned in these northern regions of Japan.
Unlike the few Middle Jōmon magatama found in grave contexts, magatama excavated from Late Jōmon burials are often found together with other body ornaments, including combs, beads, pendants, and earrings. Magatama in grave pits continued to be buried with other ornamental items toward the end of the Jōmon period, but were also accompanied by more practical objects including pots, scrapers, axes, knives, and arrowheads. Concomitant with this development was the inclusion of [End Page 128]
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ritualistic objects such as stone rods/swords, miniature pots, and dogū figurines, but these types of objects were not abundant in burial pits.
Although a large number of magatama began to accompany the deceased in tombs, they also continued to be used in household settings. While mortuary magatama are concentrated in the northern regions of Japan, those found in domestic settings are not clustered in any particular region. Seven examples were unearthed in pithouse contexts. As was the case in Early and Middle Jōmon, these examples were accompanied by objects that are thought to be ritualistic in nature as well as various utilitarian household objects and tools.
In Late Jōmon, two examples of magatama were found in stone structures at Motoyashiki.4 In Final Jōmon, two magatama came from stone structures at Teraji and Kensei and two more from pits.5 Three other magatama were reported from discard areas and two from a ditch. Such contexts often contain both utilitarian and ritual objects. As was also the case with many of the Early-Middle Jōmon collections, the excavation reports present a considerable number of examples (20 examples) from simple cultural layers.
An even greater variety of morphological types emerged in Late and Final Jōmon than in the previous periods. For example, some have a boomerang-shape with the perforation at the mid-point; the boot-shape (a modified version of the hook-shape) also made its appearance during the later periods. Along with comb-shape examples, the bean-shape with a semi-circular inner edge, resembling the “standard” shape of the later Yayoi and Kofun periods, also became more numerous. The large magatama of Middle Jōmon mostly disappeared and overall the size of magatama was reduced after Late Jōmon.
Changes were also made in the stone types used for magatama production. The jadeite magatama that began to appear in Middle Jōmon progressively increased in number during Late Jōmon and even more so in Final Jōmon. Other stone types (i.e., tuff, siliceous rock, peridotite, serpentine, jasper, quartz) are also abundantly present. Magatama made of talc continued to dominate the collections, being second in number only to those made of jadeite. As was the case with the Early and Middle Jōmon magatama, there is no correlation between stone types, morphological types, and contexts of find among the Late and Final Jōmon magatama collections.
the evolution of magatama in the jōmon period
Magatama began to appear in Early Jōmon. For thousands of years, these beads were consistently found in house contexts in association with many utilitarian and ritual objects including pots, dishes, pounders, scrapers, spoons, arrowheads, axes, weights, rods/swords, and dogū figurines. The rarity of the Early and Middle Jōmon magatama and their frequent association with residential archaeological contexts imply that these were shared at the household level and used in domestic settings. Not all households owned these objects, however. Even when they were present, they were few in number; it seems very rare for a household to own many magatama.
In Late Jōmon, however, some magatama began to be buried as mortuary objects. While magatama in household contexts continued, the cases of magatama findings in cemetery settings increased dramatically in northern Japan. This trend may well have been related to the using of communal cemeteries that were spatially demarcated from residential areas. Communal cemeteries developed after Late Jōmon and contained clusters of small burial pits for mostly individual use. The production of large amounts [End Page 145] of small stone beads and their wider circulation via expanding trade networks after Late Jōmon probably facilitated individual ownership.
Jadeite Magatama as Status or Wealth Markers in Burials
Although magatama made of jadeite may have acted as symbols of high status or wealth, an increase in status or wealth differences probably did not cause the transition to burying magatama as grave goods. Some scholars assert that magatama were placed in graves to mark the status or wealth of the deceased while alive. Kinoshita (2000) believes that magatama began to appear in elite graves during the Yayoi period because they had become symbols of wealth for Yayoi elites. Kinoshita (2005) further argues that various magatama types were differentiated in terms of their forms, materials, and colors, and that these types were linked to different levels of status and wealth in the stratified society. While Kinoshita’s supposition may be correct for the Yayoi elite burials, the Late Jōmon transition in the use of magatama is not associated with elite symbols. First of all, there seems to be no association between the richness of grave furnishings, indicating wealth and high status, and the presence of these stone beads in Late Jōmon burials. Their presence in tombs appears to show no correlation with the degree of lavishness of other funerary items or with any specific sex or age categories. Second, jadeite magatama are rarely found in graves before Late Jōmon, even though they were already being produced in Middle Jōmon. Third, jadeite was not the only material used for funerary magatama; there are also talc, peridotite, serpentine, and jasper examples (Tables 5, 6). Fourth, magatama made of jadeite continued to show up in domestic settings. As described above, jadeite examples from pit-houses of Late and Final Jōmona re not rare. Lastly, more than half of the Jōmon magatama made of jadeite did not come from graves or houses, but from pits, stone structures, and simple cultural layers. While contextual information may have been lost due to poor preservation of the sites, this pattern nevertheless indicates that the association between magatama and graves was by no means exclusive.
The use of magatama in formal mortuary rituals burgeoned in Late Jōmon. These beads began to accompany certain deceased members of households when they were buried. This custom developed in northern Japan, but may have occasionally spread to other regions in the main island. Parallel to this new development, the long-term tradition of using magatama in household settings continued from Early Jōmon on.
A few thousand years prior to Late Jōmon the Jōmon people had already begun to bury their dead with stone body ornaments, including slit earrings, cylindrical beads, and large pendants. However, magatama were not included in graves until Late Jōmon, which is also when the large pendant type gradually fell into disuse. The dramatic increase in the number of magatama beads after Late Jōmon shows that magatama became quite popular as a result of acquiring a new emphasis and meaning.
The increased production of magatama and other small stone beads after Late Jōmon is linked to their new role as individual grave goods. This personalization process led to more individualized ownership of magatama, often in sets with other body ornaments such as combs, pendants, and earrings that also served as grave goods. The abundance and the presence of these body ornaments in individual graves indicate that the Late Jōmon inhabitants of northern Japan enjoyed a relatively comfortable material culture. [End Page 146]
After Final Jōmon, household items of a more utilitarian nature, such as clay pots and stone tools, increasingly served as grave goods along with magatama. Objects that are often considered ritualistic, such as stone rods, dogū figurines, and miniature pots, were also found in graves, though not abundantly.
The trend in the succeeding Yayoi and Kofun periods, in which magatama became major funerary objects for elite individuals across the Japanese archipelago, thus has roots in a process that operated two millennia earlier, before magatama had become symbols of high status. This marked one of the significant early stages in the evolution of this peculiar bead type, which eventually became exalted by inclusion in Imperial Regalia.
Yoko Nishimura is a Lecturer in Archaeology of East Asia and the Near East at the University of Pennsylvania.
1. The rising popularity of Buddhism among the elite coincides with and may have been linked to the decline of wearing stone jewelry such as magatama (Gina Barnes pers. comm. 8 June 2016).
2. A couple of examples (including from Yumitehara) fall into a gray zone. I have included them so long as published sources treat them as magatama and not as recycled slit earrings.
3. The examples from Hamachō, Sannnaimaruyama, Tanabatake, and Teraji can be categorized as large pendants (大珠), but only the example from Hamachō was made of jadeite.
4. The stone structures at Motoyashiki are concentrated within an area 30m in diameter. They comprise about 99 stone tombs in the form of pits with circular and oval-shaped stone arrangements.
5. The stone structures at Teraji are distributed over an area of approximately 16m × 10 m. They include a central hearth-like stone structure, rectangular- and circular-shaped stone arrangements, stone tombs, and wooden pillars. The stone structures at Kensei are in an area of approximately 60m × 10m that can be divided into several sections. Associated with these structures are rectangular- and circular-shaped stone arrangements.
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2002 Tatsuruhamamachi Ōtsukurodanomori Iseki: Ippan Kokudō 470 Gōsen (Nōetsu Jidōshadō) Dōro Kairyō Kōji ni Kakawaru Maizōbunkazai Hakkutsuchōsa Hōkokusho 6 田鶴浜町大津くろだの森遺跡: 一般国道470 号線(能越自動車道) 道路改良工事に係る埋蔵文化財発掘調査報告書6 [The Tatsuruhamamachi Ōtsukurodanomori Site: The Excavation Report of Buried Cultural Properties relating to the Renovative Construction Site at route 470 (Nōetsu highway)]. Ishikawa: Ishikawaken Kyōiku Iinkai 石川県教育委員会.
1986 Itoigawa Shishi: Shiryōhen 1, Kōkohen糸魚川市史:資料集1,考古編 [The History of Itoigawa City: Reference vol. 1, Archeological volume]. Niigata: Itoigawashi 糸魚川市.
1989 Natsumoto Iseki Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkokusho: Kokudō 45 Gō Ōtsuchi Baipasu Kanren Iseki Hakkutsu Chōsa 夏本遺跡発掘調査報告書: 国道45 号大槌バイパス関連遺跡発掘調査 [The Excavation Report of Natsumoto Site: The Excavation Report relating to Highway Route 45 Ōtsuchi Bypass]. Iwate: Iwateken Bunka Shinkō Jigyōdan Maizō Bunkazai Sentā 岩手県文化振興事業団埋蔵文化財センター.
1980 Tōhoku Shinkansen Kankei Maizō Bunkazai Chōsa Hōkokusho 7: Nishida Iseki東北新幹線関係埋蔵文化財調査報告書7: 西田遺跡 [Reports of the Buried Cultural Properties relating to the Tōhoku Shinkansen 7: Nishida Site]. Iwate: Iwateken Kyōiku Iinkai 岩手県教育委員会.
1978 Iwaki Chiku Isekigun Hakkutsu Chōsa Gaihō 岩木地区遺跡群発掘調査概報 [The Excavation Report of the Iwaki Area Site]. Niigata: Jōetsushi Kyōiku Iinkai 上越市教育委員会.
2003 Jōetsushishi Shiryōhen 2: Kōko 上越市史. 資料編2: 考古 [The History of Jōetsu City 2. Reference volume: Archaeology]. Niigata: Jōetsushi 上越市. [End Page 152]
2005 Chōsen hantō no magatama 朝鮮半島の勾玉 [Magatama in the Korean peninsula], in Hisui Bunka Fōramu 2005 ヒスイ文化フォーラム2005: 22–27. Itoigawa: Hisui Bunka Fōramu Iinkai ヒスイ文化フォーラム委員会.
1990 Kashima Jingū Eki Hokubu Maizō Bunkazai Chōsa Hōkokusho: Kashimamachi no Bunkazai 69 島神宮駅北部埋蔵文化財調査報告: 鍛冶台遺跡. 鹿島町の文化財69 [The Excavation Report of Buried Cultural Properties of Kashima Jingū Station North Section: Kashimamachi Cultural Properties 69]. Ibaraki: Kashimamachi Kyōiku Iinkai 鹿島町教育委員会.
2011 Shimaneken mihojinja keidai iseki shutsudo no tamatukuri shiryō 島根県, 美保神社境内遺 跡出土の玉作資料 [Report on the bead production at the Miho Shrine site in Shimane]. Kokugakuin Daigaku Dentō Bunka Risāchi Sentā Kenkyū Kiyō 國學院大學伝統文化リサーチセンター研究紀要3:61–74.
2010 Wa no gyokki: Tamatsukuri to wakoku no jidai 倭の玉器: 玉つくりと倭国の時代 [Gem Articles in Ancient Japan: Bead Manufacture and the Age of Wa]. Tokyo: Aoki Shoten 青木書店.
2004 Taishu no shutsudo jōtai wo kangaeru 大珠の出土状態を考える [Considerations on the circumstances of the find-spots of jadeite large pendants]. Kikan Kōkogaku 季刊考古学 89:79–80.
2001 Hebinai Iseki: Minamioshima 3-ki Chiku Kōiki Einōdanchi Nōdō Seibijigyō ni Tomonau Hakkutsu Chōsa Gaiyō Hōkokusho 蛇内遺跡: 南渡島3期地区広域営農団地農道整備事業に伴う発掘調査概要報告書 [The Hebinai Site: The Excavation Report relating to the Wide Area Agricultural Road Maintenance Work of Minamioshima 3rd District]. Hokkaido: Kikonaichō Kyōiku Iinkai 木古内町教育委員会.
1987 Yayoi teikei magatama kō 弥生定形勾玉考 [Consideration on Yayoi standardized magatama], in Higashiajia no Kōko to Rekishi 東アジアの考古と歴史: 542–591. Kyōto: Dōhōsha 同朋舎.
2006 Yayoi jidai heikōki ni okeru chōsen hantō no garasu seihin: Kudatama, magatama wo chūshin to suru yōsō 弥生時代併行期における朝鮮半島のガラス製品: 管玉, 曲玉を中心とする様相 [Glass products in Korean peninsula in the contemporary Yayoi period: Aspects centered on bugle and curved beads]. Kodaigaku Kenkyū 古代学研究: 1–19.
1992 Kudatama ni kansuru oboegaki 管玉に関する覚書 [Memorandum on bugle beads], in Kyūhan: Maizō Bunkazai Kenkyūkai 15 Shūnenkinen Ronbunshū 究班: 埋蔵文化財研究会15 周年記念論文集 [Kyūhan: The Research Group of Buried Cultural Properties, 15th Anniversary Proceedings]: 15–24. Toyonaka: Maizō Bunkazai Kenkyūkai 15 Shūnenkinen Ronbunshū Henshū Iinkai 埋蔵文化財研究会.
1992 Kinkichihō no Yayoi magatama 近畿地方の弥生勾玉 [Yayoi magatama in the Kinki region]. Kyōtofu Maizō Bunkazai Jōhō 京都府埋蔵文化財情報46:12–26. [End Page 153]
2004 Kōgyokusei taishu no kōeki, ryūtsū 硬玉製大珠の交易,流通 [Trade and distribution of large jadeite pendants]. Kikan Kōkogaku 季刊考古学89:83–87.
2012 Features and development of the Pokch’on-dong cemetery in Tongnae, in Early Korea 3: The Rediscovery of Kaya in History and Archaeology: 171–193, ed. Mark E. Byington. Cambridge: Harvard University, Korean Institute.
2000 Ninchi Kōkogaku no Riron to Jissenteki Kenkyū 認知考古学の理論と実践的研究 [Theory and Practical Research of Cognitive Archaeology]: 113–141. Fukuoka: Kyūshū Daigaku Shuppankai 九州大学出版会.
2000 Meijiyakkadaigaku Iseki: Tokyōto Setagayaku Nozawa 1-chome 35-ban no Hakkutsu Chōsa Kiroku 明治薬科大遺跡: 東京都世田谷区野沢1丁目35 番の発掘調査記録 [The Meijiyakka-daigaku Site: The Excavation Report of the Tokyōto Setagayaku Nozawa 1-chome 35-ban Site]. Tokyo: Setagayaku Kyōiku Iinkai Shōgai Gakushūka 世田谷区教育委員会生涯学習課.
1996 Kita no Umi no Bunka Kōryū no Ato wo Saguru: Hokkaidō Yoichichō Ōkawa Iseki no Hakkutsu Chōsa 北の海の文化交流の跡を探る: 北海道余市町大川遺跡の発掘調査 [Exploring the cultural exchange in the Northern seas: The excavation report of the Hokkaido Yoichi town site]. Gekkan Bunkazai 月刊文化財390:4–18.
1992 Magatama 勾玉. Tokyo: Gakuseisha 学生社.
1980 Yayoi magatamakō 弥生勾玉考 [Considerations on Yayoi magatama], in Kobunkaronchi: Kagaminaya Takeshi Sensei Kokikinen 古文化論孜: 鏡山猛先生古稀記念 [Kobunkaronchi: The Anniversary of the 70th Birthday of Professor Kagamiyama Takeru]: 307–341, ed. Kagaminaya Takeshi Sensei Kokikinen Ronbunshū Kankōkai 鏡山猛先生古稀記念論文集刊行会. Dazaifu: Kagaminaya Takeshi Sensei Kokikinen Ronbunshū Kankōkai.
1972 Naganoken Chuōdō Maizō Bunkazai Hozōchi Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkokusho: Shimoinagun Takamorimachi Chinai Sono 2 長野県中央道埋蔵文化財包蔵地発掘調査報告書: 下伊那郡高森町地内その2 [The Excavation Report of Buried Cultural Properties of Nagano Prefecture Chuō Highway: Within Shimoinagun Takamorimachi Number 2]. Nagano: Naganoken Kyōiku Iinkai 長野県教育委員会.
1988 Chuō Jidōshadō Naganosen Maizō Bunkazai Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkokusho 2 (Shiojirishinai Sono 1) 中央自動車道長野線埋蔵文化財発掘調査報告書2 (塩尻市内その1) [The Excavation Report of Buried Cultural Properties of the Chuō Highway Nagano Route (Shiojiri city limit series 1)]. Aichi: Nihon Dōro Kōdan Nagoya Kensetsukyoku 日本道路公団名古屋建設局.
1996 Matsunokida Iseki: Asakawa Senjōchi Isekigun. Naganoshi no Maizō Bunkazai 77 松ノ木田遺跡: 淺川扇状地遺跡群.長野市の埋蔵文化財77 [The Matsunokida Site: The Asakawa Alluvial Fan Site. Buried Cultural Properties of Nagano City 77]. Nagano: Naganoshi Maizō Bunkazai Sentā 長野市埋蔵文化財センター.
1981 Maizō Bunkazai Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkokusho: Iwanohara Iseki 埋蔵文化財発掘調査報告書: 岩野原遺跡 [The Excavation Report of Buried Cultural Properties: Iwanohara Site]. Niigata: Nagaokashi Kyōiku Iinkai 長岡市教育委員会. [End Page 154]
2002 Yayoi jidai ni yurai suru ryūkyū shotō no shinka 弥生時代に由来する琉球諸島の神歌 [Divine poetry of the Ryukyu Islands originated in the Yayoi period]. Setouchi Tanki Daigaku Kiyō 瀬戸内短期大学紀要33:1–16.
2014 Girei no Ba to Shite no Tateana: Hakodateshi Kakinoshima Iseki ・Yagi B Iseki ・Usujiri Shōgakkō Iseki no Doki Kuyō no Ichiduke 儀礼の場としての竪穴: 函館市垣ノ島遺跡・八木B 遺跡・臼尻小学校遺跡の土器供養の位置づけ [The use of pits as ceremonial places: The Hakodate city Kakinoshima site, The Yagi B site. The role of pottery offerings at the Usujiri Shōgakkō site]. Heisei 26 Nendo Hakodateshi Jōmon Bunka Tokubetsu Kenkyū Hōhokusho 平成26 年度函館市縄文文化特別研究報告書 [The 2016 Jōmon Culture Special Research Report]. Hokkaido: Hakodateshi Jōmon Bunka Kōryū Sentā 函館市縄文文化交流センター.
1966 Senshijidai to Nagaoka no Rekishi: Nagaoka Shiritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan Kenkyū Chōsa Hōkoku 8 先史時代と長岡の歴史: 長岡市立科学博物館研究調査報告8 [Prehistory of Nagaoka: Research Reports of the Nagaoka Municipal Science Museum 8]. Niigata: Nagaoka Shiritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan 長岡市立科学博物館.
2009 Ritual landscape in Northern Jomon Japan: An outline. In NEOMAP Interim Report 2008: 115–121, ed. Junzo Uchiyama, Kati Lindström, Carlos Zeballos, and Oki Nakamura: Kita-ku, Kyoto: NEOMAP.
2006 Ogakuchi Iseki: Hokuriku Shinkansen Kankei Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkokusho 5大角地遺跡:北陸新幹線関係発掘調査報告書5 [The Ogakuchi Site: The Excavation Report relating to the Hokuriku Shinkansen Site 5]. Niigata: Niigataken Kyōiku Iinkai 新潟県教育委員会.
2002 Mawaki Iseki 真脇遺跡 [The Mawaki Site]. Ishikawa: Notochō Kyōiku Iinkai 能都町教育委員会.
1979 Ogakuchi Iseki: Kazaridama to Hisui no Kōbōato 大角地遺跡: 飾玉とヒスイの工房址 [The Ogakuchi Site: The Remains of the Ornamental Bead and Jade Factory]. Niigata: Ōmimachi Kyōiku Iinkai 青海町教育委員会.
1978 Aonae Iseki Hakkutsu Chōsa Gaihō: Dōdō Okushirisen Aonaeshi Shigai∼kūkōkan Dōro Seibi Jigyō ni Kakawaru Kinkyū Hakkutsu Chōsa 青苗遺跡発掘調査概報: 道々奥尻線青苗市市街∼空港間道路整備事業に係る緊急発掘調査 [The Excavation Report of Aonae Site: The Emergent Excavation Reports relating to the Hokkaidō Road Maintenance Project between Aonae City and the Airport]. Hokkaido: Okushirichō Kyōiku Iinkai 奥尻町教育委員会.
1966 Ōmi: Sono Seikatsu to Hatten 青海: その生活と発展 [Ōmi City: Its Life and Development]. Niigata: Ōmimachi 青海町.
1995 Ōmiya no Kōko Ibutsu. Chōson Gappei 40 Shūnenkinen Tokubetsuten: Naka Kuji no Seiryū ni Hagukumareta Ōmiyamachi no Senshi Kodai大宮の考古遺物.町村合併40周年記念特別展: 那珂・久慈の清流にはぐくまれた大宮町の先史・古代 [The Archeological Artifacts of Ōmiya. Special Exhibition Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Town Merger: Ancient Prehistoric Ōmiyamachi Nutured by the Naka and Kuji Streams]. Saitama: Ōmiyamachi Kyōiku Iinkai 大宮町教育委員会.
2001 Chōsen hantō no sekisei sōshingu 朝鮮半島の石製装身具 [Stone body ornaments in the Korean peninsula]. Bungakubu Ronsō 文学部論叢73:129–153.
2008 Kaya and Silla in archaeological perspective, in Early Korea 1: Reconsidering Early Korean History through Archaeology: 113–153, ed. Mark E. Byington. Cambridge: Harvard University, Korean Institute.
1998 Joseihaniwa: Sono Yosōi to Shigusa 女性埴輪: その装いとしぐさ [Female Haniwa: Their Attire and Gestures]. Ōmiya: Saitama Kenritsu Hakubutsukan 埼玉県立博物館.
1983 Ippan Kokudō 140 Gō (Yoriimachi Hanazonomachikōku) Maizō Bunkazai Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkoku 4 (Tsukaya Kitatsukaya)一般国道140号(寄居町・花園村工区)埋蔵文化財発掘調査報告3 (塚屋・北塚屋) [The Excavation Report of Buried Cultural Properties of Highway Route 140 (Yoriimachi, Hanazonomachi Construction Area) 4 (Tsukaya, Kitatsukaya)]. Saitama: Saitamaken Maizō Bunkazai Chōsa Jigyōdan 埼玉県埋蔵文化財調査事業団.
2011 Mortuary variability and status differentiation in the Late Jomon of Hokkaido based on the analysis of shuteibo (communal cemeteries). Journal of World Prehistory 24:275–308
2004 Jūkyoato shutsudo no komochi magatama 住居跡出土の子持勾玉 [Komochi-magatama excavated from pithouses]. Kanazawa Daigaku Kōkogaku Kiyō 金沢大学考古学紀要 27:19–28.
1997 Niiborihigashigengahara Iseki (Okunada 3 Iseki): Kanetsu Jidōshadō Jyōetsusen Chiiki Maizō Bunkazai Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkokusho 新堀東源ケ原遺跡(行田3 遺跡): 関越自動車道(上越線) 地域埋蔵文化財発掘調査報告書 [The Niiborihigashigengahara Site (Okunada 3 Site): The Excavation Report of Buried Cultural Properties at the Kanetsu Highway Jōetsu route]. Gunma: Matsuidamachi Iseki Chōsa Kai 松井田町遺跡調査会.
2009 The Occult Life of Things: Native Amazonian Theories of Materiality and Personhood. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
1979 Okushiritō Aonae Iseki 奥尻島青苗遺跡 [The Okushiri Island Aonae Site]. Hokkaido: Okushirichō Kyōiku Iinkai 奥尻町教育委員会.
1998 Shimazu Iseki (Shimazu 1・2・3・4 Chiku): Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkokusho島津遺跡(島津1 ・2・3・4地区): 発掘調査報告書 [The Shimazu Site (Shimazu 1, 2, 3, and 4 Sections): Excavation Report]. Ibaraki: Amimachi Kyōiku Iinkai 阿見町教育委員会.
2004a Jōmon magatama 縄文勾玉. Kikan Kōkogaku 季刊考古学89:25–27.
2004 Izumo Ōyashiro Keidai Iseki 出雲大社境内遺跡 [Izumo Shrine Precinct Site]. Izumoshi: Taishamachi Kyōiku Iinkai.
2012 Magatama no Shūkyōteki seikaku ni tsuite 勾玉の宗教的性格について [About the religious character of a comma-shaped bead]. Kokusai Keiei Bunka Kenkyū 国際経営・文化研究 17(1):13–28.
1990 Tannnabatake: Yatsugatake Nishi Sanroku ni Okeru Jōmon Jidai no Shūraku Iseki 棚畑: 八ケ岳西山麓における縄文時代中期の集落遺跡 [Tannnabatake: The Settlement Site at the Base of the West Yatsugatake Mountain in the Middle Jōmon Period]. Nagano: Chinoshi Kyōiku Iinkai 茅野市教育委員会.
2003 Kofun bunka to shisen shisō 古墳文化と神仙思想 [The Kofun culture and the Shinsen philosophy]. Higashi Ajia no Kodai Bunka 東アジアの古代文化116:48–58.
2006 Shinkodaigaku no Shiten 新古代学の視点 [Perspectives on Neoancient Studies]. Tokyo: Shōgakukan 小学館.
1981 Tenmabayashimurashi 天間林村史 [The History of Tenmabayashimura]. Aomori: Tenmabayashimura 天間林村.
1987 Shiseki Teraji Iseki: Niigataken Nishibikigun Ōmimachi Teraji Iseki Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkokusho 寺地遺跡: 新潟県西頸城郡青海町寺地遺跡発掘調査報告書 [The Teraji Historical Site: The Excavation Report of Teraji Site in Ōmimachi, Nishibikigun, Niigata Prefecture]. Niigat: Ōmimachi 青海町.
2013 Marishitenzuka, Biwazukakofun, to Iizukakofungun 摩利支天塚, 琵琶塚古墳と飯塚古墳群 [Marishitenzuka, Biwazukakofun, and Iizukakofun Sites]. Tochigi: Tochigiken Kyōiku Iinkai 栃木県教育委員会.
1991 Hamachō A Iseki 2 浜町A 遺跡2 [The Hamachō A Site 2]. Hokkaido: Toichō Kyōiku Iinkai 戸井町教育委員会.
2006 Hariyama Iseki: Tōno Furusatomura Seibi ni Tomonau Hakkutsu Chōsa Gaihō. Tōnoshi Maizō Bunkazai Chōsa Hōkokusho 8 張山遺跡: 遠野ふるさと村整備に伴う発掘調査概報 [The Hariyama Site: The Excavation Report of Buried Cultural Properties accompanying the Maintenance of Tōno Furusato Village 8]. Iwate: Tōnoshi Kyōiku Iinkai遠野市教育委員会.
1973 Toyamaken Asahimachi Nizayama Shin Iseki: Dai 1-ji Hakkutsu Chōsa Gaihō 富山県朝日町下山新遺跡:第1次発掘調査概報 [The New Toyama Prefecture Asahimachi Nizayama Site: The 1st Excavation Report]. Toyama: Toyamaken Kyōiku Iinkai 富山県教育委員会.
1985 Hokuriku Jidōshadō Iseki Chōsa Hōkoku Asahimachi hen 2: Sakai A Iseki・Banbayama D Iseki・Banbayama E Iseki・Banbayama F Iseki・Banbayama G Iseki・Banbayama H Iseki北陸自動車道遺跡調査報告朝日町編2:境A遺跡・馬場山D遺跡・馬場山E遺跡・馬場山F遺跡・馬場山G 遺跡・馬場山H 遺跡 [The Report of Hokuriku Highway Site Asahimachi Series 2: Sakai A Site, Banbayama D Site, Banbayama E Site, Banbayama F Site, Banbayama G Site, and Banbayama H Site]. Toyama: Toyamaken Kyōiku Iinkai 富山県教育委員会.
1958 Sources of Japanese Tradition. New York: Columbia University Press. [End Page 157]
2008 Vertical or horizontal landscape? The prehistoric long-term perspectives on the history of the East Asian inland seas, in The East Asian Mediterranean: Maritime Crossroads of Culture, Commerce, and Human Migration: 25–52, ed. Angela Schottenhammer. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.
2016 Object Collection: Jomon Beads. Object numbers 2317 and 2318. Accessed on December 16, 2016. https://www.penn.museum/collections/object/251307. https://www.penn.museum/collections/object/63880.
1997 Aomoriken Ishigame Iseki ni Okeru Kamegaoka Bunka No Kenkyū. Kodaigaku Kenkyūsho Kenkyūhōkoku 5. Kodaigaku Kyōkai Kodaigaku Kenkyūsho 青森県石亀遺跡における亀ケ岡文化の研究.古代學研究所研究報告5 [Research Relating to the Kamegaoka Culture at the Ishigame Site in Aomori Prefecture. Archeology Research Center Reports 5]. Kyoto: Kōkogakukōkai and Kōkogaku kenkyūjo 古代學協會・古代學研究所.
1987 Sakaehama 1 Iseki栄浜1遺跡 [The Sakaehama 1 Site]. Hokkaido: Yakumochō Kyōiku Iinkai 八雲町教育委員会.
1989 Kinsei Iseki: Kennei Hojō Seibi Jigyō ni Tomonau Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkokusho 2 (Jōmon Jidai Hen) 金生遺跡: 県営圃場整備事業に伴う発掘調査報告書2 (縄文時代編) [The Kinsei Site: The Excavation Report related to the Prefectural Farmland Maintenance Project. (Jōmon Period Version)]. Yamanashi: Yamanashiken Kyōiku Iinkai 山梨県教育委員会.
1994 Tenjin Iseki: Kenei Hojō Seibi Jigyō ni Tomonau Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkokusho 天神遺跡:県営圃場整備事業に伴う発掘調査報告書 [The Tenjin Site: The Excavation Report related to the Prefectural Farmland Maintenance Project]. Yamagata: Yamanashiken Kyōiku Iinkai 山梨県教育委員会.
2009 The formation and development of the Samhan, in Early Korea 2: The Samhan Period in Korean History: 17–59, ed. Mark E. Byington. Cambridge: Harvard University, Korean Institute.
1989 Sawamachi Iseki: Yoichi Niki Chiku Dōei Hatake Chitai Sōgō Tochi Kairyō Jigyō Yoichimachi Dai 1-gō Kansen Nodō Chōdō Sawamachi Misonosen Hosō Kairyō Kōji ni Tomonau Maizō Bunkazai Hakkutsu Chōsa Hōkokusho 沢町遺跡: 余市二期地区道営畑地帯総合土地改良事業余市町第1号幹線農道町道沢町美園線舗装改良工事に伴う埋蔵文化財発掘調査報告書 [The Sawamachi Site: The Excavation Report of Buried Cultural Properties relating to the Road Resurfacing Construction Work of Yoichimachi 1st Main Agricultural Road Sawamachi Misono Line Run by the Prefectural Farmland Improvement Operation of the Yoichi 2nd District]. Hokkaido: Yoichichō Kyōiku Iinkai 余市町教育委員会.
1972 Chiyoda Iseki: Chibaken Inbangun Yotsukaidōchō 千代田遺跡: 千葉県印旛郡四街道町 [The Chiyoda Site: Yotsukaidōchō, Inbangun, Chiba Prefecture]. Chiba: Yotsukaidō Chiyoda Iseki Chōsakai 四街道千代田遺跡調査会. [End Page 158]