It is long believed that people in the Jomon period (10000 - 300 B.C.) moved around to hunt animals and gather fruits.
(Jomon refers to "rope patterns." The pottery excavated in this period has commonly this kind of patterns.)
But the discovery of the Sannai Maruyama Ruins changed this long established perceptions about their lives.
Among the remains excavated here were a huge house, a wide street, and an observation tower supported by large wooden pillars.
They had already formed a large settlement.
In general, settlement is believed to have started with rice farming. But in case of this ruins, this is not the case.
Why did people in those days build their settlements without practicing agriculture.
In recent years, excuvations and studies have revealed that people enjoyed a rich life by forming large communities.
First of all, there were huge forests in the neighborhood, which provided them with abundant sources of food to hunt and harvest.
There are traces of cooked meat or fish on pieces of Jomon pottery. In fact, the sea is close to it.
Researchers believe that ancient people hunt fish and animals and made use of changing seasons by obtaining seasonal vegetables.
If you clear forests to turn them into a paddy field, you have to destroy nature.
It means the destruction of the ecological system. As long as you live in harmony with nature, you maintain a sustainable lifestyle.
Jomon shell mounds show us shocking facts. Human bones were sometimes discovered among animal or fish bones, which showes that there were no division between humans and other living creatures.
Shintoism is characteristic of nature and ancestor worship. It is quite natural that it originates in Jyomon period.