Sacred Texts and Buried Treasures: Issues in the Historical Archaeology of Ancient Japan

Front Cover
University of Hawaii Press, May 1, 1998 - Social Science - 348 pages
The Japanese have long sought inspiration and legitimacy from the written record of their ancient past. The shaping of bygone eras to contemporary agendas began at least by the early eighth century, when the first court histories, namely the Kojiki and the Nihon shoki, were compiled.

Since the late nineteenth century, historians have extensively mined these texts and other written evidence and by the late 1970s had nearly exhausted their meager sources. Fortunately for all those interested in uncovering the origins of Japanese civilization, archaeologists have been hard at work. Today, thanks to this postwar "archaeology boom," Japan historians have never been closer to recreating the lives of prehistoric peasants, ancient princes, and medieval samurai.

Sacred Texts and Buried Treasures offers substantial new insights into early Japanese history (A.D. 100-800) through an integrated discussion of historical texts and archaeological artifacts. It contends that the rich archaeological discoveries of the past few decades permit scholars to develop far more satisfactory interpretations of ancient Japan than was possible when they were heavily dependent on written sources.
 

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Contents

The Lost Realm of Yamatai
9
Ancient Japans Korean Connection
53
Capitals
121
Wooden Tablets
199
CONCLUSION
231
NOTES
239
CHARACTER LIST
295
BIBLIOGRAPHY
299
INDEX
321
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

William Wayne Farris is professor emeritus of Japanese history at the University of Hawaiâ i, where he served for twelve years as the Sen SÅ shitsu XV Distinguished Chair of Traditional Japanese History and Culture.

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