Archaeological Research on the History of Ancient Handicraft Industries — about the roof tiles of Kokubun-ji (provincial temples) —

Yoshimitsu KAJIWARA Associate Professor

Department: School of Letters / Graduate School of Letters

Class Time: 2009 Fall Monday
Recommended for: School of Letters 2nd-year students and upwards

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Course Overview (Aims)

Regarding ancient handicraft industries in Japan, I will examine their regional aspects, considering mainly local roof tile manufacture organization of the Kokubun-ji creation in the Nara period, and will theorize how changes were carried out in the transformations and breakdown stemming from the establishment of a Ritsu-Ryo system (Ritsu=penal code, Ryo=administration code).

I expect you to cultivate your logical thinking and facility for description, to deepen your object of research through research techniques in class, as well as gaining knowledge about ancient handicraft industries.

Key Feature

Until recent decades, archaeology meant researching periods of history about which document do not remain, like the Jomon period, the Yayoi period, or the Kofun period. Since the Asuka period, document history was seen as the preferable path of historical restoration, because the descriptions of authenticated histories like "Chronicles of Japan" had considerable reliability. So the field of study called historical archaeology had been considered what we call a supplementary study.

In recent years, however, the increase of finds by excavation and the development of research on historical features and artifacts have been remarkable. Particularly, things not usually contained in documents, such as ancient local aspects or what the ancient handicraft industries were like, when viewed from industrial economic history, make the results of archeology such that they are not possible to disregard.

In this course, I will highlight the true state of local government, how handicraft industry in the Ritsu-Ryo period was managed and so on, using archaeological methodologies like typological research, in order to get the most information from artifacts. I think that we may get closer to the true state of the Ritsu-Ryo society by combining the research results of archaeology and the results of document history.

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Course Requirements

No special requirements, although it is better if you have basic knowledge of Japanese history learned in high school.

I recommend that you take the course "Ancient Nation and Handicraft Industry" provided by Professor Furuoya.

Course Schedule

Session Contents
1 Orientation / about roof tiles
2 Research history on ancient roof tiles part 1
3 Research history on ancient roof tiles part 2
4 Roof tile workshop organization viewed from flat and round tiles
5 Organization of roof tile manufacture of Kokubun-ji on the Saikaidou District part 1
6 Organization of roof tile manufacture of Kokubun-ji on the Saikaidou District part 2
7 Organization of roof tile manufacture of Kokubun-ji on the Saikaidou District part 3
8 Development of Heijokyu-type tiles on the Sanyodo district
9 Research on organization of roof tile manufacture of Kokubun-ji in the Tokai region part 1
10 Research on organization of roof tile manufacture of Kokubun-ji in the Tokai region part 2
11 Government roof tiles workshop in Ise, Iga and Shima region in the Nara period
12 Research on Kokubun-ji kilns used for firing both roof-tiles and pottery part 1
13 Research on Kokubun-ji kilns used for firing both roof-tiles and pottery part 2
14 Cognitive viewpoint regarding the pattern of Gatou (antefix)
15 Summary

Grading

The grading will be based on attendance (30%) and report (70%).

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Page last updated November 17, 2011

The class contents were most recently updated on the date indicated. Please be aware that there may be some changes between the most recent year and the current page.

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