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Dragon divers and clamorous fishermen: Bronzization and transcultural marine spaces in the Japanese archipelago

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Hudson,  Mark
Eurasia3angle, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hudson, M. (2021). Dragon divers and clamorous fishermen: Bronzization and transcultural marine spaces in the Japanese archipelago. In S. Autiero, & M. A. Cobb (Eds.), Globalization and transculturality from antiquity to the Pre-Modern World. Abington: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781003096269-8.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-5D3E-B
Abstract
This essay contrasts two approaches to fisheries in Bronze Age Japan. In the first, links between the fishing cultures of the East Asian mainland and Japan are seen as separate cultural layers which accumulated over time and coalesced to form a unitary Japanese ethnic culture centred on rice and, ultimately, on state power. The second approach reflects what the eighth-century Nihon shoki called ‘clamorous fishermen’ – maritime groups who resisted state power. These ‘sea peoples’ encapsulated a transcultural identity which moved between the sea and the land. Instead of an emphasis on ‘traditional’ culture and national identity, a transcultural framework better encapsulates the role of fishing peoples as part of the process of Eurasian bronzization. Instead of closure or insularity or the formation of Japanese ‘national identity’, the dominant themes for Bronze Age Japan become openness, translation and transculture.