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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Zooarchaeological and molecular biological studies indicate that all domestic animals found in Japan were introduced and local domestication of wild boar and wolf is unlikely. Timing of introduction and husbandry practice for dog, pig, horse, cattle, and chicken are discussed. These main domestic species were introduced from the Chinese continent in prehistoric times, probably via the Korean peninsula. Meat of domestic animals and dairy products were not a major part of the diet until the twentieth century ad, partly because of the Buddhist prohibition of the consumption of animal meat. Zooarchaeological data from the Yayoi and Kofun period sites as well as the historical era have been gradually accumulating, helping the interpretation of textual records as well as supplementing them.

Keywords: domestic animals, Japan, dog, pig, chicken, horse, cattle, Jomon period, Yayoi period, Kofun period

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