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Japan’s relations with the Asian Continent and the Korean Peninsula (Before 950 AD)

Japan’s relations with the Asian Continent and the Korean Peninsula (Before 950 AD)

By Yasukazu Suematsu

Journal of World History, Vol.4:3 (1958)

18th century map of Japan

Introduction: The Japanese people did not emerge into the history of East Asia until the continental culture reached the islands of Japan and helped develop its civilization.

Since the Japanese were isolated for a very long time after their settlement in the Islands, the development of their culture was extremely slow. However, because of this prolonged isolation, their native culture may be said to have developed almost to its uttermost. This is evidenced in the oldest archaeological relics in Japan – Jomon style relics, and especially in the earthenware. The transition from the period of Jomon style culture to that of Yayoi style marks the first epoch-making event in the history of Japan. Although there is no definite theory as to the origin of Yayoi style culture nor of the date of its introduction to Japan, it is almost certain that it began at the same time as the cultivation of paddy-fields and the use of metal ware. This culture is supposed to have come either from the South Seas or from the west, ie. the Korean peninsula.

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