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Jacob Conner presents paper “Jomon Artifact Interactions in Contemporary Japan” at Frucht Student Conference

March 6, 2015

Jacob Conner, BHAP Master's student, recently presented a paper entitled "Jomon Artifact Interactions in Contemporary Japan" at the Richard Frucht Memorial Lecture & Student Conference held at the Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta.

Dokira image: http://www.gamer.ne.jp/news/201408180050/

Abstract: Archaeological research is traditionally focused on reconstructing past human activities through careful examination of material remains. However after an artifact is recovered from an excavation, it enters into a new systemic context with new human-artifact interactions. In this presentation, a few specific interactions between contemporary Japanese culture and prehistoric Jomon artifacts(14,500 - 300 BC) are examined. First a brief description of Umehara Takeshi's "Jomonism" is presented to demonstrate how Jomon archaeological research has been used as a tool to assert Japanese identity. Next recent art exhibitions such as ARTs of Jomon and Mariko Mori's Rebirth will be examined to identify how Jomon artifacts are being used as a medium to express reactions against modern consumerism. The last example in this presentation is Dokira, which is a Jomon pot mascot developed as a way to reinvent the town of Uonuma in Niigata. Through these examples it will be clear that Jomon Period artifacts are still being used but it is in modern contexts to accomplish modern tasks.

Link to Richard Frucht Memorial Lecture & Student Conference Programme here.

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