Ancient Japan

Richard Pearson, With
Richard Pearson, With George Braziller $80 (324p) ISBN 978-0-8076-1282-8
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This learned, beautifully produced companion volume to an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., highlights the results of 20 years of major archaeological research in Japan. Nearly 300 illustrations, 65 in color, display some 250 recently excavated artifacts dating from as early as 200,000 B.C. and spanning five little-known epochs in Japanese culture: the Paleolithic, Jomon, Yayoi, Kofun and Asuka periods. Pearson's main commentary and accompanying essays by 14 Japanese scholars reconstruct the migrations, social organizations, customs and skills of these ancient peoples, while the photographs show stunning examples of design and craftsmanship in very early pottery, tools, weapons and writings, as well as exquisite bronze bodhisattvas from later years. A major source of information and inspiration for scholars and interested lay readers. Pearson is chair of the department of anthropology and sociology at the University of British Columbia. ( Oct. )
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