Category Archives: Climate

Climate of Kunitokotati’s Time

Temperature over the last 13,000 years, by Yasuda Yoshinori.

This is a continuation of Julian Way’s post about Kunitokotati (Kunitokotachi)

The climate of the Japanese archipelago 15,000 BCE switched from continental type to oceanic type. In the archipelago, centered at 40 degrees north latitude with lots of snow, buna (beech) and oak type deciduous broad-leaved forests expanded. In the midst of the forests of the temperate zone, the oldest doki earthenware of the initial Jomon culture began. Excavation at Fukui-ken Torihama kaizuka 鳥浜貝塚 showed that Jomon resided there 14,500 years ago. 


13,500 years ago, 7,000 people came from Baikal due to climate change on the continent. This map shows Lake Baikal in the upper left corner. The arrow indicates the movement of those Altaic people to East Asia and northern Japan. Hokkaido was still connected to the continent. They migrated to East Nihon where there were only 1500 people, so that 4 out of 5 people were from Baikal. 

Those who solved the difficulty of changing climate and population were those who were later called “Kunitokotachi.” The time was ten thousand years ago. It corresponds to the end of the early Jomon period.

In the days of Toyoke, Isanagi, and Amateru-kimi, around 3,000 years ago, it was getting colder and colder. See chart above by Yasuda Yoshinori, author of Rice-Cultivation Fishing Culture. Note the temperature rise 10,000 years ago, and the warm temperatures between 6,000 to 5,000 years ago, and the cool climate of 3,000 to 2,000 years ago.

The chart below covers a period of 18,000 years. Although the ice age was ending, there was a cooling period called the Younger-Dryas around 11,000 years ago. The warm period is called the Holocene maximum.


Image and quote credit here.

Warming began about 15,000 years ago, interrupted about 4,000 years later by the Younger Dryas, a time when colder conditions returned for about 1,000 years. 10,000 years ago another period of abrupt warming began bringing climate into the present interglacial.