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The Sea Mammal Hunting Cultures of the Okhotsk Sea with Special Reference to Hokkaido Prehistory

Kiyoshi Yamaura
Arctic Anthropology
Vol. 35, No. 1, North Pacific and Bering Sea Maritime Societies: The Archaeology of Prehistoric and Early Historic Coastal Peoples (1998), pp. 321-334
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40316472
Page Count: 14
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The Sea Mammal Hunting Cultures of the Okhotsk Sea with Special Reference to Hokkaido Prehistory
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Abstract

Sea mammal hunting began in the Initial Period of the Jomon culture in Hokkaido. After the Middle Period, marine hunting became one of the important subsistence activities along the coasts. In the Epi-Jomon culture some communities in southern Hokkaido hunted sea mammals more intensively. The appearance of such communities is thought to have been influenced from southern Korea and/or to have been a result of active fur trade with agricultural communities in northern Honshu. The Okhotsk culture that arose on southern Sakhalin Island was maritime oriented, although it had some rudimentary aspects (such as pig breeding) of an inland culture. The people spread to the Okhotsk Sea coast of Hokkaido and the Kuril Islands and became more active sea mammal hunters. The Tokarev culture of the northern Okhotsk Sea coast had a close relationship with the Okhotsk culture. The parent of both cultures can be found among the cultures of the Amur Basin. Among these cultures, trade for iron, glass, and other desired goods made in northeastern China and Honshu became important. In the second millennium AD, trade within the circum-Okhotsk Sea areas became more robust, leading the inhabitants to more systematic hunting of sea mammals to obtain furs as export goods, and at the same time causing social tensions.

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