The Molding and Beauty of the Jomon Culture

The Beauty of Jomon Earthenware

The Variation of Jomon potteries(Chitose City's Kiusu Sites)

Jomon pottery is one of the oldest examples of earthenware in the world, 'Jomon' refers to cord mark that decorates the pottery and is characteristic of the culture's earthenware. Cord was rolled around and pressed into the surface of the clay to create the patterns. Greatly embellished forms characterized Jomon earthenware, whether deep or shallow bowls, pots, or like teapots. Shape and motif had regional features and changed together with the time period, as did coloring. These articles were not just practical, but beautiful as well.

Cylindrical Jomon potteries connected with the Nothern Tohoku area's Jomon Culture (Nanae Town's Narukawa-Ugan Site)

The Jomon and the Color Red

Red-japanned-ware combs (Eniwa City's Karinba Site)
Jomon pottery like teapot colored by cinnabar (Yakumo Town's Nodaoi 1 Site)

Red japanned ware combs decorated with fret work, shark teeth necklaces and other ornaments have been discovered in vast quantities in graves at Eniwa City's Karinba site, an indication that these objects were used in burial rituals.

The world's oldest red japanned wares have been exhumed from Jomon Period excavation sites, and red is believed to have been of great significance to the Jomon people. The hue of the earthenware colored with red ochre (ferric oxide) or cinnabar is also evidence of a correlation between that color and burial rituals.

The Jomon and the Color Green

Jade pendant fragments 'Magatama' (Chitose City's Kiusu 4 Site)
A large jade 'Taishu' (Hakodate City's Hamacho A Site)

Graves at Chitose City's Kiusu 4 Site have contained jade pendants and small round beads that appear to be from necklaces and other ornaments that were buried with the deceased. Furthermore, at northern Hokkaido's Funadomori site on the island of Rebun, and Hakodate City's Hamacho A Site, splendid large jade 'Taishu' have been unearthed.

Jade, along with japanned ware, was of great importance to the Jomon as jewelry or decoration, but it is also likely that the Jomon felt that the green color of jade held some kind of spiritual energy or power.