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Introduction of Wet-Rice Agriculture

 
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:24 pm    Post subject: Introduction of Wet-Rice Agriculture Reply with quote
So, I thought the Yayoi people were from the Korean peninsula, yes? And that bronze, iron, and whatever else were introduced via Korea.

An article I'm reading right now asserts that
Quote:
Japanese and Chinese specialists in general agree that rice cultivation was brought to Japan directly from China, and not indirectly from Korea, since it is now known that this agricultural practice came to Korea considerably later than to Japan.


-Min Tian, "Chinese Nuo and Japanese Noh – Nuo’s Role in the Origination and Formation of Noh," ''Comparative Drama'' 37:3/4 (2003-04), 349.

Thoughts? Is this the general agreement?
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JLBadgley
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Regardless of where rice cultivation came from (and are they talking wet or dry rice cultivation?), that would seem to have little bearing on where the bronze manufacturers of the Yayoi period, who appear to have been outsiders and then are later found in high-status graves, were from.

That said, I'd have to go look at the evidence, but this sounds like a misinterpretation of the evidence. It sounds like someone is saying "we've found rice* in China and in Japan that is earlier than any rice we've found in Korea. This means that rice must have come from China." I find this argument to be problematic, assuming that lack of evidence is evidence of lack. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if rice made its way up from Taiwan to Japan. Rice is naturally found in more southernly climes, and it took a while to breed a cultivar that would thrive in the north. Furthermore, there is both wet and dry rice cultivation, with the latter being the earlier, and less intensive, form of rice farming.

Anyone else out there know what we have for reliable dates and evidence of rice and wet-rice cultivation in Japan, currently?

-Josh

*Feel free to replace "rice" with "evidence of wet rice agriculture".
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shikisoku
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
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So, I thought the Yayoi people were from the Korean peninsula, yes? And that bronze, iron, and whatever else were introduced via Korea.


It's not only from Korean peninsula but also from China.
Rice cultivation diffusion theory has been updated by gene engineering so you should check newer articles.
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nagaeyari
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I am a little late, but I thought I would add my two cents.

Dry Rice
Dry rice cultivation was practiced from around 3000 BC in the Korean Peninsula. Yamasaki Sumio asserts, based on scanning electron microscopy, that imprints on pottery in Japan dating to the Middle Jomon (roughly contemporary with the Korean data above) were left by rice and millet. There are objections to Yamasaki's argument, concerning not only doubts over the source of the imprints and the dates of the pottery sherds, but also the lack of carbonized rice/grains (barley, wheat, millet, etc.) and dry fields. It is very possible that dry-rice farming was introduced from the Korean Peninsula from the Middle Jomon, but it would have been greatly limited in both geographic scope and its level of importance as a subsistence strategy.

Verdict: Dry-rice farming was present in the southern Korean Peninsula before in the Japanese Archipelago.

Wet rice
There are four main theories concerning the path wet-rice agriculture took to reach the Japanese Archipelago:

1) Southern China - Taiwai - Nansei Islands - Kyushu
(No evidence of wet-rice agriculture in Okinawa until Heian Period; additionally, material culture accompanying earliest rice fields not found in southern islands)
2) Lower Yangtze basin - Kyushu
(Lack of material-culture connection between Yayoi Culture and the culture(s) south of the Yangtze)
3) Shandong Peninsula - Korean Peninsula - Kyushu
4) Shandong Peninsula - Liaodong Peninsula - Korean - Kyushu

This leaves us with the northern route ([3] or [4]). As paddy field construction and agricultural implement morphological characteristics can be traced up through the northern Korean Peninsula, the northern route has the greatest support from archaeologists.

In addition to rice paddies with sophisticated irrigation technology, the earliest Yayoi villages contained characteristic pit dwellings (Songguk'ni-style pit houses), were located near graveyards containing stone dolmens, and were surrounded by V-shaped moats, all of which can be traced back to the Korean Peninsula. Furthermore, the grave goods found from the accompanying cemeteries, specifically polished stone daggers and arrowheads, are identical to those found in the southern Korean Peninsula. The characteristic jar (tsubo) of the Yayoi Period was also heavily influenced by Mumun pottery.

It is apparent to us, then, that wet-rice agriculture was introduced and adopted (we should not forget Jomon agency) as part of a complex cultural package that originated in the southern Korean Peninsula. Rice no doubt originated in the mid to lower reaches of the Yangtze River, but the wet-rice agriculture of the Yayoi Period was undoubtedly introduced from an established culture on the peninsula. Is this to say that there were not other avenues for rice to simultaneously appear in the archipelago? No, but it would have been greatly overshadowed by the cultural and subsistence processes described above.

Verdict: Rice, in both dry and wet varieties, appeared first in Korea. Furthermore, a cursory review of the material culture of the earliest wet-rice-farming Yayoi villages reveals connections not with China, but with Korea. Archaeologists, in both Korea and Japan, do not assert what your author says they assert.

EDIT: Forgot about dates. I have to go, but recent AMS dates suggest that the Yayoi Period (the Initial Yayoi) began sometime between 10th and 7th centuries BC. This is obviously much earlier than traditionally assigned, but the newer end of this spectrum can be corroborated by relative dating of artifacts.
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yeah, there are a lot of problems with Min Tian's article...

Thanks so much for the details, Nagaeyari!
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