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STORY #026

Kaengata Doki Jomon Pottery and the Snow Country Culture of the Shinano River Basin

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STORY

Eight millennia ago, the area along Japan’s longest and largest river, the Shinano, experienced climate change that led to its recognition as one of the snowiest areas in the world.
This was the birthplace of pottery called “kaengata doki,” 5000 year-old vessels with four elaborate rim decorations that resemble a flame, a hallmark of Jomon-era pottery. The post-war artist Okamoto Taro quickly recognized the vessels’ artistic qualities and famously exclaimed “What on Earth is this?” upon first encountering the works.

The villages of the people who made kaengata doki are centered in the Shinano River basin and are among the country’s biggest and most concentrated. Visitors to the village sites may experience the region’s distinct scenery, seemingly unchanged for the past 5000 years.
Many traditions that originated in the Jomon period are still practiced in the area, including methods to process and preserve food items from the mountains, river, and sea; the production of angin textiles, and the development of manufacturing industries in the tradition of kaengata doki.
Kaengata doki, together with Ukiyo-e and Kabuki, represent the headwaters of Japanese culture.

CULTURAL PROPERTIES

CULTURAL PROPERTIES

  • TITLE

    DESIGNATION

    LOCATION
  • Shinano River

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Upper Shinano River basin Early Jomon Period sites

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Upper Shinano River basin Early Jomon Period artifacts

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Artifacts from site south of Kubodera

    Niigata Prefecture Tangible Cultural Properties(Archeological artifacts)

  • Unoki Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Warino Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Dojiri Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Sasahara Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Kamihara E Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Donukihara Sites

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Sasayama Site Artifacts

    National Treasures(Archeological artifacts)

  • Babagami Site Artifacts

    Tokamachi City Tangible Cultural Properties(Archeological artifacts)

  • Umataka Site Artifacts

    Important Cultural Properties(Archeological artifacts)

  • Iwanohara Site Artifacts

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Tochikura Site Artifacts

    Nagaoka City Cultural Properties(Archeological artifacts)・Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Tokushouji Sites Artifacts

    Nagaoka City Tangible Cultural Properties(Archeological artifacts)

  • Monnosawa Site Artifacts

    Nagaoka City Tangible Cultural Propertie(Archeological artifacts)

  • Dodaira Site Artifacts

    Important Cultural Properties(Archeological artifacts)

  • Dojitte Site Artifacts

    Tsunan Town Tangible Cultural Properties(Archeological artifacts)

  • Okinohara Site Artifacts

    Niigata Prefecture Tangible Cultural PropertiesArcheological artifacts)

  • Yoshinoya Site Artifacts

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Nagano Site Artifacts

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Osawa Site Artifacts

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Akiha Site Artifacts

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Umataka-Sanjuinaba Site

    Historic Sites

  • Tochikura Site

    Nagaoka City Historic Sites

  • Sasayama Site

    Tokamachi City Historic Sites

  • Okinohara Site

    Historic Sites

  • Dodaira Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Dojitte Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Ueno Site and artifacts

    Undesignated Cultural Properties・Tsunan Town Tangible Cultural Properties(Archeological artifacts)

  • Ueno Susaki Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Hattanda Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Minanbara Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Soriguchi Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Shoumengahara A Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Yagihana Iwakage Site 1, Site 2, and artifacts

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Yoshinoya Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Nagano Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • River Terraces

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Tashirono Nanatsugama

    Places of Scenic Beauty, Natural Monuments

  • Kiyotsu Gorge

    Places of Scenic Beauty, Natural Monuments

  • Ryuugakubo /p>

    Tsunan Town Places of Scenic Beauty

  • Yagigahana

    Sanjo City Places of Scenic Beauty

  • Sakata Lagoon

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Toyano Lagoon

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Fukushima Lagoon

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Mt Yahiko – Mt Kakuda

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Bijinbayashi

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Tools made in Akiyama village and surrounding mountain villages

    Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties

  • Akiyamago

    Undesignated Cultural Properties

  • Kuwabara Preserved Folk House

    Tsunan Town Tangible Cultural Properties(Structures)

  • Matoba Site

    Niigata Prefecture Historic Sites, Niigata Prefecture Tangible Cultural Properties・Niigata Prefecture Tangible Cultural Properties

  • Matoba Site artifacts

    Niigata Prefecture Historic Sites, Niigata Prefecture Tangible Cultural Properties・Niigata Prefecture Tangible Cultural Properties

  • Ojin-sai Festival

    Niigata Prefecture Intangible Folk Cultural Properties(Folk art)

    Nagaoka city
  • Documents about river fishing

    Undesignated Cultural Properties(Folk material)

  • Niitsu Petroleum Heritage Sites (Nietsubo, etc)

    Niigata Prefecture Historic Sites

  • Oosawayachi Site

    Undesignated Cultural Properties(Historic Sites)

  • Fujihashi Site and artifacts

    Historic Sites・Undesignated Cultural Properties(Archeological artifacts)

  • Uenohara Site and artifacts

    Undesignated Cultural Properties(Historic Sites)・Sanjo City Tangible Cultural Properties(Archeological artifacts)

  • Akamatsu Site and artifacts

    Undesignated Cultural Properties(Historic Sites・Archeological artifacts)

ACCESS

Niigata City
  • Train
    • JR Tokyo Sta.(Joetsu Shinkansen)~JR Niigata Sta.
  • Car
    • Nerima IC(Kan-Etsu Expwy/Hokuriku Expwy)~Niigata-Nishi IC
Sanjo City
  • Train
    • JR Tokyo Sta.(Joetsu Shinkansen)~JR Tsubamesanjo Sta.
  • Car
    • Nerima IC(Kan-Etsu Expwy/Hokuriku Expwy)~Sanjo-Tsubame IC
Nagaoka City
  • Train
    • JR Tokyo Sta.(Joetsu Shinkansen)~JR Nagaoka Sta.
  • Car
    • Nerima IC(Kan-Etsu Expwy)~Ngaoka IC
Tokamachi City
  • Train
    • JR Tokyo Sta.(Joetsu Shinkansen)~JR Echigoyuzawa Sta.(Hokuetsu Line)~JR Tokaichi Sta.
  • Car
    • Nerima IC(Kan-Etsu Expwy)~Ishiuchishiozawa IC(National Highway R353/National Highway R117)〜Tokaichi City
Tsunan City
  • Train
    • JR Tokyo Sta.(Joetsu Shinkansen)~JR Echigoyuzawa Sta.(Hokuetsu Line)~JR Tokaichi Sta.(Iiyama Line)~JR Tsunan Sta.
  • Car
      Nerima IC(Kan-Etsu Expwy)~Ishiuchishiozawa IC(National Highway R353/National Highway R117)〜Tsunan City

CONTACT

  • Shinanogawa kaen kaido renkei kyogikai
    Tsunan Town Board of Education Cultural Assets Dept
  • TEL:+81-25–765-2299