The Group of Tile Kiln Site at Hinodeyama
The group of tile kilns was excavated at Hinodeyama Hill in Shikama Town, Miyagi Prefecture. They are thought to have been the ruins of one of the few roof tile producing factories in the ancient Tohoku region. The site is designated as a Historic Site by the national government.
It is thought that the roof tiles for Tagajo Fort, which was the administrative center of the Tohoku region in the early Nara period (710-794), were produced at these kilns. Up to the present, 6 sites have been confirmed and 7 kilns are preserved in the site, which is presently arranged into a history park, where azalea trees and green turf create fresh green oasis. You can see large holes dug in the slope of the hill located in the tranquil countryside.
The excavated roof tiles include the half-round eave-end pendant tile with a lotus pattern with double layered petals, the concave rectangular pendant tiles with a pattern of parallel lines, half-round tiles, and broad concave tiles. Besides roof tiles, pieces of Sueki pottery were found. From the bottom of the Sueki vessels and the kodai-foot, it can be seen that the static thread method, in which the vessel is cut from the wheel head with thread, was employed.
The Kido tile kiln ruins site in Tajiri Numabe in Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, is a designated national Historic Site. It was revealed from the research conducted in 1958 and 1974 that these are the ruins of the cave kilns to produce roof tiles for Tagajo Fort at the time of its first construction in the early 8th century.
The excavated roof tiles include the half-round eave-end pendant tile with a lotus pattern with double layered petals, the concave rectangular pendant tiles with a pattern of parallel lines, half-round eave tiles, rectangular eave tiles, half-round tiles, broad concave tiles and oni-gawara (ridge-end tiles).
Also a broad concave tile inscribed with the name of the head of a sub-village composed of 200 families in the Osabe village (ri) in the Nakamura sub-county (go) in a certain county was found from the surface of the ground. This is an academically interesting historical datum to show that the central government’s system of Go-ri (sub-county and village) and its military system had already been introduced in this area, which is as far as 40 km away from Tagajo Fort, the administrative center of the time.
Kamegaoka Ruins in Tsugaru City in Aomori Prefecture is a large-scale ruins site, which is emblematic of the Jomon period of the Japanese history. The site was first discovered as early as in 1622 during the Edo period.
Kamegaoka Site is most famous for “Shakokidogu,” the 34.5 cm tall clay figure with a sun shading device. Its distinguishing features are not only the slitted eyes but also the exaggerated shape of the body. Furthermore, the abdomen is covered with elaborate patterns. It is nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property.
The site is also famous for many pieces of beautiful pottery such as pot or vases decorated with fine patters and colored with black or vermillion lacquer. During the Edo period, the pottery pieces discovered in Kamegaoka were highly esteemed as first-class art objects.
Today, the replica of Shakokidogu is erected in the ruins site and a variety of excavated items are displayed in Jomon Museum on top of the nearby hill.
Nitta-no-sho Ruins, a national Historic Site, is the ruins of the manor developed by Nitta Yoshishige in the late Heian period (794-1192).
The ruins are composed of 11 remains pertaining to the Nitta clan; the precincts of Enpukiji, Sojiji, Chorakuji and Meio-in temples, those of Junisho, Toshogu and Ikushina shrines, the ruins of Sorimachi Residence and Eda Residence, and Judono and Yadaijin headsprings. The remains spread in the huge area in the western half of present-day Ota City.
Nitta-no-sho Ruins are unique historic sites in that a number of the Middle-Age remains spreading in a huge area are collectively grasped as the components of one manor and designated as one Historic Site. The remains tell us the prosperity enjoyed by the Nitta clan, who played an active role in Japan’s history of the Middle Ages.
Yamamae Ruins spreading on the south slopes of the terraced land located between the Naruse River and the Eai River in Misato Town, Miyagi Prefecture, are the complex of the colony ruins built from the early to mid-Jomon period and from the Kofun to Heian periods. The ruins site is nationally designated as a Historic Site.
From the Jomon ruins, pit dwellings and shell mounds were found. The colony of the Kofun period and the large moat surrounding the colony were also found. Wooden fork heads, wooden blocks for beating cloth, thrusting sticks, bamboo baskets were excavated from the moat. Other ruins of colonies and relics in the Nara through Heian periods were also excavated. It is considered to be an academically important historic site, which had been used for thousands of years.
The ruins site has been converted into a history park and is open to the public.
The shell mounds built in the early Jomon period (about 6,000 years ago) were discovered on the plateau, which is 20 m above sea level, in the Bibi district in Chitose City, Hokkaido. They were discovered when the railroad construction work was being done at the end of the Taisho period (1912-1926).
A shell mound is comprised mainly of sea shells of shellfish such as common fresh water clams and short-necked clams, which were thrown away at the same place for a long time until it formed a mound. This indicates that the area around a shell mound as right beside the sea when it was formed.
The Bibi Shell Mounds are considered important evidence that proves the level of the sea was much higher in the Jomon period than the present time because of the warm temperature trend in those days.
They are large mounds with a height of 1.2 m and a diameter of 4 m. They are the shell mounds discovered in the innermost land in Hokkaido. The shells of 14 species of shellfish including Corbicula japonica and short-necked clam together with earthen ware have been unearthed at the site. This is a huge time capsule in which the life of the people living 6,000 years ago is bottles up.
About 7 kilometers from Monbetsu on the Omusaro Plateau in Hokkaido, are the remains of pit dwellings. These remains spread over a hill between Shokotsu River and Omusaro Pond near the town of Okoppe. There are 208 pit dwellings of early native peoples extending for about 1km in this area.
These remains probably belong to the early Jomon period of about 10,000 years ago. There are also remains belonging to the later Satsumon period that feature the unique Okhotsk culture of the Ainu people of Hokkaido. These pit dwellings show us the life of these peoples over a period of 10,000 years.
Today, the remains are part of a park on the plateau, and there is a great view from the top. There has been some restoration of the pit dwellings, and of high-floored warehouses which give a feeling of life in the Satsumon period 1,000 years ago. Plants favored by the Ainu people, such as 'oubayuri', 'ezoengosaku' and 'gyojaninniku' have been planted in the area.
Pirika Ruins located in Pirika, Imakane-cho, Setana-gun, Hokkaido is the ruins of Old Stone Age through Jomon Age. It was designated as a National Historic Site in 1994. It was discovered in 1978, when a ground survey for a dam construction was carried out. The ruin covers a huge area with 200,000 square meters that spread over the gentle hill on the left bank of the Pirikabetsu River. 190,000 stone tools with a total weight of 800 kg were excavated. Historically precious discovery of the beads made of peridotite and fatty acid of deer on the surface of a stoneware were included among them. At the present time, there is nothing but a pasture on the ruins. Visitors can see those excavated items at Pirika Old Stone Age Museum in the vicinity.