It is not known when humans first settled on the Japanese archipelago. It was long believed that there was no Paleolithic occupation in Japan, but since World War II thousands of sites have been unearthed throughout the country, yielding a wide variety of Paleolithic tools. [Britannica, 2015] Japan was unified by the Yamato court C.250-552. Japan was then subject to various influences, including Buddhism and Confucianism and developed into a class-based feudal society. This pathfinder will guide you through your research into Ancient Japan, and includes keyword searches, library call numbers and links to library ebooks and external sites.

Dewey Numbers

  • History of 1st - 5th centuries - 930.5
  • History of Japan - 952
  • Japanese costume - 391.00952

Keyword Searching

  • Ancient Japan

Subject Searching



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Reference Material

The following encyclopedia may provide you with some useful information:

  • Exploring Ancient Civilisations If you go to Volume 6 you will find information on Ancient Japan. However, don't forget to also use the index where you can locate further material for your research. Just some extra topics that can be found in this encyclopedia are: Amaterasu - Japanese sun goddess - Vol.1, Confucianism - Vol.3
  • Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia This two-volume set was published by the Japanese publisher Kodansha. The publisher suggests that the book helps to unlock the complex society of late-20th century Japan. It has extensive cross-references and provides anyone with a very good place to start exploring Japanese society and history.
  • Britannica Online School Edition PreK-12 **requires your username and password to access

Web Resources