Yoshinogari – Historical Yayoi Park, Saga, Kyushu

Yoshinogari is a a large moated town from the Yayoi Period (300BC-300AD).

The Yoshinogari Yayoi ruins were found in 1986 while surveying for a new industrial site.  Luckily this was put on hold and a 3 year excavation began.

The site uncovered the largest Yayoi village ever found in Japan. The village is thought to be from the later Yayoi Period due to the various artefacts and advanced structures built on the site.  However, the origins of Yoshinogari go way back to the beginning of the Yayoi Period.

Yoshinogari can be traced back to the original Korean migrants who introduced rice growing and cultivation into Japan.  Rice was not a natural grain to Japan, it was brought to Japan from these Korean migrations over 1800 years ago.

The once small village changed over time and we can see the formation of a structured social class from the excavations.  At Yoshinogari we can walk through each area which are very different.  It is a big site and to walk around, it is approximately 1.6km.

The whole site is enclosed by a dry moat with ramparts and palisades.  There are a number of gates and watchtowers.  There’s the peasant farming and living area, the upper class living areas,  the commercial area and the religious and burial area.  This has been simplified as each area also have sub-areas.

The park also has a museum and a number of activities that you can take part in such as bead and mirror making.

Please go to this English web site for more in depth information.

http://www.yoshinogari.jp/en/

 

Words and photos by Stuart.

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