The Jomon Period was Japan’s Neolithic period from 10,500 BCE to 300 BCE and is famous for the lacquered, flame rimmed pottery. The destinctive rope pattering decorations gave this period it’s name.
The Hachinohe exhibit features the national treasure, Gassyo Dogu, a clay figurine that was made with hands clasped in a seated position. I was unable to take a picture of it but I did find a clear version on the Internet (credit goes to museum website). More than prayer, the little guy looks like the Japanese version of the thinker. I can imagine that whoever it had been based on, they probably liked to sit on some grassy hill to think.
The best part of the exhibit, in my opinion, isn’t just the sheer variety objects on display. It’s also the interactive portion, seeing the Jomon world come to life in screen and getting to touch replicas of the objects – admittedly it’s more for children than for adults but I believe adults are just bigger versions of kids. We all yearn to discover the world through the curiosity of a child, the ability to follow through with action however has been stamped out by high school.
The process by which the pots, beads, and dogu are made are all in Japanese with little furigana. Come prepared with apps that allow you to trace kanji in order to look up their meaning or with a fair amount of knowledge of archaeological terms in Japanese.
The next best part of this amazing exhibit? The price. It’s only ¥250. Cheapest date night/educational excursion ever.