KOSUGI Yasushi

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KOSUGI Yasushi Professor

History and Area Studies / Northern Culture Studies
Specialized Field
Archaeology, Study of material culture
Research Subject
I study human culture on the Japanese Islands by archeological research, with focusing on structure in existence and function in situation as the key concept.
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Lab. Letters: Messages from the Laboratory

Sedentary hunter-gatherers:
The hot issue of the sustainable Jomon culture

With interest in Jomon research increasing around the world, Jomon Archaeological Sites in Hokkaido and Northern Tohoku have been designated for inscription on the World Heritage List. Why is the Jomon culture becoming such a hot issue? In human history, it has conventionally been understood that the earliest lifestyle of nomadic hunting and gathering developed into the lifestyle of sedentary farming, which promoted food production. However, the Jomon culture, which lasted for some ten thousand years, is a unique case (or shows a contradictory case), because Jomon peoples continued hunting and gathering despite having a sedentary lifestyle. The Jomon culture, which falls outside the previous framework and includes sustainable affluence, is expected to provide the modern world with many suggestions.

  • An archaeological excavation at the Rebunge Site (Toyoura Town) for the practical training of undergraduate and graduate students
  • Clay vessels made by students are fired as part of the archaeological education programs.

The establishment of an eco-museum
that cultivates a sense of human historical time

This course provides students with opportunities for practical training at archaeological excavations. Focusing on the northern coastal area of Funka Bay, we’ve been conducting fieldwork during the summer holidays at the Usu-6 site (Date City) since 2000, at the Koboro Cave Site (Toyoura Town) since 2006 and at the Rebunge Site (Toyoura Town) since 2012. In 2009, the Jomon Eco-Museum on the Northern Coast of Funka Bay was established while registering these locations as satellite archaeological sites. It is also known that extensive cultural remains from the post-Jomon and Satsumon periods lie under the campus of Hokkaido University. We’re striving in concert with the Hokkaido University Archaeological Research Center to establish a campus eco-museum by positioning these underground remains as an “archaeological trail.” The archaeological practical training, in which you can experience a sense of human historical time whose years are counted in units of 1,000 or 10,000, provides opportunities for you to develop a sense of time that one can’t experience in daily life. I cordially wish to educate students who can contribute to society by applying this sense of time.

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