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English SummariesBulletin of Gunma

Dogu-clay figurines of Gunma Prefecture in Jomon Period
-Their changes and local features-

Dogu-clay figurines were symbolic artefacts which were used at magical ceremonies in the Jomon period.
Their prevalence often differed with time and place in Japan.
If we distinguish some types of clay figurines or examine the differences between them, we will be able to better understand the periodisation of early society in which magic played an important role.
That is the main aim of this paper. Accordingly, we have tried to analyse the typological classification and systematic relations of clay figurines of present day Gunma Prefecture.
The results of our study are as follows:
1) Clay figurines appeared in the eastern Kanto District (Central Japan) in the Incipient Jomon period earlier than elsewhere in Japan.
In the area of present day Gunma, they first appeared in the Early Jomon period.
They have been classified into a few types, which had systematic relations to clay figurines of the same period of the Tohoku (the northeast of Honshu) and Chubu (the centre of Honshu) Districts.
Clay figurines disappeared for a time at the end of the Early Jomon period in Gunma, as elsewhere in the Kanto District.
2) In Gunma Prefecture, a small number of clay figurines existed in the Middle Jomon period.
They were styled after those of the Chubu and western Kanto Districts.
They disappeared during the end of the Middle Jomon period.
In Chubu District, about 3,000 pieces of clay figurines have been excavated up to now, and they account for 30 percent of all clay figurines in Japan.
That is, there is a possibility that the structure of the rituals in the area of present day Gunma is different from that of Chubu, which is approximately 100 kilometres to the southwest, separated by mountains and other geographical barriers.
3) In the first half of the Late Jomon period, clay figurines of at least three types appeared in the area of present day Gunma.
These were styled along lines of those from southern Tohoku District, but they slowly disappeared.
In the latter half of the Late Jomon period, new type clay figurines appeared in the present day Gunma area.
They were similar to those found in Tohoku, and were made in large numbers.
There was a clear line of demarcation between the latter half and the first half of the Late Jomon period.
4) In the first half of the Final Jomon period, a few types had systematic relations to clay figurines of the latter half of the Late Jomon period.
In addition, there was another type which was copied from Tohoku.
In the latter half of the Final Jomon period, there were a few local types and a unique type which had been styled from the eastern Kanto area. At that time, the influence of the Tohoku area's artisans was minimal.
In the end of the Final Jomon period, there were only a few clay figurines which had been copied from those of Chubu, and they subsequently went out of use.
As a result, clay figurines found in Gunma Prefecture had systematic relations with those districts, but these systematic relations varied with each stage in the Jomon period.
Next time, we will analyse the social background of these local features of the present day Gunma area.

Key Words: Jomon period, Clay figurines, Magic, Early society, Systematic relations,
Gunma Prefecture, Local features, Tohoku District, Chubu District

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