The Yayoi period is the era in Japanese history from approximately 300 BC to AD 300. The Yayoi period marks the transition by the Japanese from a hunting and gathering society to an agricultural society. The first evidence of rice cultivation, which was introduced to Japan from Korea, dates to this period.

Yayoi culture was more sedentary than the Jomon culture that preceded it. Occupational specialization appeared for the first time, as did bronze and iron tools and weapons. The Yayoi people began to make use of the potter's wheel and enclosed kilns for the first time, but the mass-produced Yayoi pottery was much more plain and showed less artistry than the highly decorative Jomon pottery. Yayoi culture is also noted for its practice of burial in great earthen jars.

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What's in the name?

Yayoi is the name of a place in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo where the bones and artifacts of that era were first excavated, hence the name Yayoi period. Yayoi also is a variant name of the third month in the archaic Japanese lunar calendar.

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