Junzo Uchiyama

Handa Japanese Archaeology Fellow 2018 – 2020

PhD, Graduate University for Advanced Studies (Sokendai), Japan, 2002

Junzo Uchiyama is an environmental archaeologist, who obtained his M.A. from University of Durham in 1996 and PhD from SOKENDAI, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Japan in 2002. Based on the methodology of zooarchaeology, his main academic interest has been human historical adaptation processes to their environments during “Neolithisation”, the transitional period from hunting-gathering to agriculture-based societies since the Last Glacial period, using the Japanese Archipelago during the Jomon period as a main research field.

Apart from Jomon research, his fields have extended into various other areas in Circumpolar Eurasia with aims at cross-cultural comparisons of the socio-economic and cultural adaptation during Neolithisation, such as Northern England, Korea, and the Russian Far East. Especially in England, he has for many years engaged in investigations of Mesolithic sites in the Vale of Pickering in North Yorkshire.

More recently, he has also directed his interests towards the fields of heritage management. As more regions and sites have been recognised as cultural/natural heritage, new problems have been raised, including in what ways historical heritages should be managed for supporting regional communities and their sustainable development for the future. He is working with this topic by taking mountain heritage sites in Japan as his main fields and undertaking comparative perspectives with European examples.

Yasuyuki Yoshida

Handa Japanese Archaeology Fellow 2015 – 2016

Kanazawa University

PhD, Archaeology, Nagoya University, 2008

Yoshida Yasuyuki is an archaeologist working on a number of research projects that investigate Japanese prehistoric Jomon culture, Southeast Asian prehistory, and archaeology and contemporary society. He is concurrently based at the Centre for Cultural Resource Studies, Kanazawa University, and at the Kanazawa University Graduate School as project associate professor to coordinate the Graduate Programme in Cultural Resource Management, Human and Socio-Environmental Studies.

During his year as a Handa Archaeology Fellow, he hopes to promote current research on the three types of characteristic ‘richness’ of Jomon culture and Japanese archaeology to an international audience.

1. Jomon as an affluent prehistoric culture
Jomon has been regarded as an affluent hunter-gatherer culture within Japanese domestic discourse. Recently, ‘The Power of DOGU’ at the British Museum in 2009 supported by the Sainsbury Institute was considered to be a tremendous success in demonstrating the richness of Jomon culture through its distinctive clay figurines, dogū. He intendeds to further develop the public’s interest by introducing broader aspects of prehistoric Jomon culture underpinned by his current research.

2. Access to mass data on Japanese archaeology
Japanese archaeology has significantly benefitted from government driven archaeological heritage management initiatives since the end of the second World war, particularly in rescue archaeology and post-excavation research system. As a result, Japanese Archaeology has been accumulating massive data. The research will explore how the collected data could be used to contribute to an international archaeology theory and discourse.

3. Relationship between archaeology and contemporary society
One of Yoshida’s current research focuses is on ‘Archaeology and Contemporary Society’. Here, he studies how ‘the Jomon’ (includes archaeological investigation in the form of sites, artifacts, written and oral interpretations regarding Jomon period) has become an important referent, interlocutor, or actor in a variety of social movements in Japan today, for example in environmentalism and revitalization of rural areas. Through analysing the relationships, he is seeking ways to contribute to the broader realm of social sciences and humanities beyond archaeology.

Nagase Fumihito

Handa Japanese Archaeology Fellow 2008 – 2010

PhD, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo

Mr Nagase graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo before working for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as an archaeologist. He specialises in the archaeology of central Japan during the Middle Jōmon period (about 4500 to 3500 years ago). He is particularly interested in the symbolism of pottery designs and clay figures (dogu). He assisted with the exhibitions ‘The Power of Dogu’ (The British Museum, 2009) and ‘unearthed’ (Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, 2010). During his fellowship, he won a grant to excavate and research Romanian Neolithic sites and its excavated remains, which he used to cross-reference Japanese Jomon period buried heritage and its cultural patterns. While Mr Nagase was forced to take a break from his fellowship due to health reasons, he is soon expected to resume his research projects with generous continued support from the Handa Archaeology Fellowship.

Ishikawa Takeshi

Handa Japanese Archaeology Fellow 2006 – 2007

Research Assistant in the Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies at Kyushu University, Fukuoka

PhD Candidate, Kyushu University, Fukuoka

During his fellowship, he co-authored ‘Reassessing the concept of the “Neolithic” in the Jōmon of Western Japan’ (pp.1-7) with Dr Simon Kaner and published it in Documenta Prehistorica 34 (2007). His other essays since his fellowship include ‘An examination of the social stratification of hunting and gathering societies: re-examination of the ethnographic model of the northwestern coastal region of Canada’ [in Japanese], in Archaeologies of Kyushu and East Asia: For the 50th Anniversary of the Archaeological Division, Kyushu University, 2008, pp. 733-52.

Oki Nakamura

Handa Japanese Archaeology Fellow 2003 – 2004

Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at Kokugakuin University and Hosei University

PhD Candidate, Keio University

Specialist in Jomon archaeology, Dr Nakamura has been studying burial practices to understand social hierarchical structures of the Jomon culture. Parallel to this he has used his fellowship period to research and interpret European neolithic monuments and bi-annual solstices relationships, ritual archaeology and its context and scale, and examining stone circles and its affiliated rituals and sceneries. After his fellowship, he was appointed Lecturer at Kokugakuin University and later Project Researcher at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, a post he presently continues to hold. He has published widely including Ritual Landscape in Northern Jomon Japan: An Outline (NEOMAP, 2009) and Jomon Reflections: Forager life and culture in the prehistoric Japanese Archipelago (Oxbow, 2004).

Noriyuki Yamamoto

Image coming soon

Handa Japanese Archaeology Fellow 2002 – 2003

Lecturer, Kokugakuin University

PhD, Kokugakuin University, Tokyo, 1997

Dr Yamamoto’s innovative research method tries to put focus not so much on the general overview of Jomon culture and society, but rather on specific periods and areas to better understand specific region’s lifestyle history during the Jomon period. During his fellowship, Dr Yamamoto carried out comparative study on pre-historic ceramic vessels of English and Japanese Jomon period origins. He organized and presented his findings in an important workshop held at the Embassy of Japan in the UK to inform both the academic community and public audience the wealth of research on Jomon culture together with Professor Richard Pearson and Dr Simon Kaner. Publications he has contributed to include Modern Archaeological Methods and Theories, volumes I and II (Gendai kôkogaku no hôhô to riron)(Dôseisha) and Prehistoric Archaeology Essay Collection (Senshi kôkogaku ronshû).