Accepted Paper:

Intersections of diversity and mobility in Japanese archaeological discourse  


John Ertl (Kanazawa University)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation examines the usage of "diversity" to represent Japan in archaeological discourses focusing on the mobility of the Jomon culture. It examines the connection to the contemporary reimagining of Japanese culture as diverse and multicultural.

Paper long abstract:

Over the past twenty years, academic and popular discourse has seen an increased usage of terms such as diversity (tayosei) and multicultural coexistence (tabunka kyosei) to describe Japan. Underlying these descriptive categorizations is an understanding that they reflect the movement of, and interactions between, people of various backgrounds. This presentation begins by examining the relationship between these contemporary discourses and the usage of diversity within Japanese archaeology, especially research focused on the Jomon period. It examines how "diversity" has become a keyword for describing Jomon culture, arguing that it reflects increased research and evidence that shows a fertile cross-fertilization of cultural influences stemming from the mobility of Jomon period people. Discussion focuses on the link between discourses on "Japanese identity" and research on prehistoric cultures in the Japanese archipelago, positing that as Japanese "diversity" today is connected to (and helps enable) the reimagining of Jomon cultural diversity.

Panel P064
Keywords of human mobility: a comparative cultural perspective (EASA/JASCA joint panel)