Osaka Archaeology

Osaka Archaeology

by Richard Pearson


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Ōsaka, now a city of 19 million inhabitants, was the economic powerhouse of Japan for two thousand years and remains an important international center. In an unusual archaeological treatment of regional long-term history, Richard Pearson proposes that a kind of entrepreneurial mentality motivated leaders to expand the economy through projects of all kinds. He summarizes results of decades of Japanese intensive archaeological study of these projects and introduces some local museums conserving and interpreting cultural heritage in the face of overwhelming urbanization. The Ōsaka Plain was the scene of vigorous Palaeolithic and Jōmon hunting and gathering communities and large agricultural villages during the Yayoi Period, and was the political center of Japan for parts of the Kofun, Asuka and Nara Periods. In the 5th century AD some of the largest burial mounds in the world were built there. Later it was an area of rich and powerful manors in the Heian and Kamakura Periods. At the end of the Chūsei (Mediaeval) Period, the city of Sakai emerged as the financial center of Japan. and Ōsaka Castle briefly dominated the region. Working in tandem with the adjacent Nara and Kyōto Basins, Ōsaka was a center of innovation and economic, social, and cultural exchange between the Japanese Islands and coastal Asia.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781784913755
Publisher: Brown, David Book Company
Publication date: 05/31/2016
Pages: 136
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 11.50(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Richard Pearson grew up in Toronto and Oakville, Ontario, and graduated with a bachelor's degree at the University of Toronto in 1960. He studied at the University of Hawaii, and Yale University under K.C. Chang, and received his doctorate in anthropology in 1966. Over his career Pearson’s research interests have included the archaeology of Polynesia and East Asia.

Richard Pearson studied Graphic Arts, History and Economics and has taught History in Lancaster, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon. He was Research Director for an advertising agency in Baltimore and provided research for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He has been the Archivist at King Edward VI School in Stratford for eight years and wrote the History of the School that was published in 2007. His other published works include A Band of Arrogant and United Heroes, the story of Peter Hall’s production of The Wars of the Roses (1992), and The Boys of Shakespeare’s School in the First World War (2010)

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Ōsaka Archaeology

Chapter 2: The Environment Of The Ōsaka Area And Its Changes

Chapter 3: Early Hunter Gatherers: the Palaeolithic and Jōmon Periods (ca. 20,000 BC to 950 BC)

Chapter 4: The Expansion of Agrarian Society

the Yayoi Period (950 BC to 240 AD)

Chapter 5: Consolidation of Political Power and Trade

the Kofun Period (240 to 600 AD)

Chapter 6: The Naniwa Port as a Regional Center

The Kodai (600 to 1185 AD) Period

Chapter 7: Ōsaka as a Commercial Center

The Chūsei Period (ca 1185 to 1603 AD)

Chapter 8: The Beginnings of Modern Ōsaka

The Kinsei Period (ca 1603 to 1868 AD)

Chapter 9: Ōsaka’s Special Features

Appendix A: Site Descriptions

Appendix B: Sakai Historical Background

Appendix C: Ōsaka’s Cultural Heritage and Selected Museums


References Cited


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