TOKYO – Finally, the archaeological sites of Jomon in northern Japan, which transmit the way of life and spiritual culture of the Jomon period from 10,000 to 300 BC, should see their value recognized by the world.
It has been more than 13 years since the prefectures of Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate and Akita proposed to the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2007 that the ruins in their areas be listed as World Cultural Heritage.
Those involved in the proposal were delighted with the recommendation of the International Council on Monuments and Sites to list the ruins.
“Finally, the recording of [the Jomon sites] as a World Heritage Site is being launched, ”said Takumi Itchoda, representative of a group of local volunteer guides for the Sannai-Maruyama archaeological site in Aomori.
The ruins were discovered during excavations that began in 1992 for the construction of a baseball stadium. “I was excited about the findings from the excavation, which showed the lives of ancient peoples and their advanced technology, including the remains of a huge six-pillar building,” said Itchoda, 83. He was then director of a primary school. the ruins have been found.
However, efforts to register the ruins as a World Heritage site have run into problems. For five consecutive years starting in 2013, the central government refused to nominate the sites of Hokkaido and northern Tohoku region on the list of World Heritage sites. The government argued that there was not sufficient reason to only inscribe Jomon’s remains in Hokkaido and Aomori, Iwate and Akita prefectures, despite the fact that such ruins exist across the country.
Yasuhiro Okada, World Heritage Cultural Site Registration Specialist for the Aomori Prefectural Government, was among those who rewrote the draft recommendation to the central government more than 100 times. They sought to recognize the value of the region, where the culture of hunting and gathering has continued for over 10,000 years.
“I am very happy. I am so relieved,” said Okada, 63.
Shiro Kimura, 79, president of a citizens’ group to inscribe the Oyu Kanjo Resseki Stone Circle in Kazuno, Akita Prefecture, a World Heritage Site, said with joy: “It has been 90 years since ruins have been discovered, and now we can finally have the world’s eyes on a local treasure. “
Kaori Yamada, 43, representative of a citizens’ group for the promotion of Jomon culture based in Hakodate, Hokkaido, said, “I want to convey the charm of Jomon culture, such as that shown in the clay figures. , to the whole world. “