千葉県Chiba Prefectural Government

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Chiba Prefecture > Introduction of Chiba > 40,000 Years of Culture

Update:September 28, 2015

40,000 Years of Culture

People have lived in Chiba Prefecture for about 40,000 years. Remnants of these prehistoric communities have been discovered at archeological sites throughout the prefecture. Among the sites are a great number of ancient tombs and haniwa clay figures that are representative of Chiba’s ancient culture.

Chiba's culture flourished in particular under the Edo Shogunate, when the center of power of Japan lay just next to Chiba. Narita, home of our airport, has bustled with pilgrims and well-wishers since Naritasan Shinshoji Temple was founded there in the 10th century. Sawara (nowadays Katori City), a commerce town, prospered so much from the flow of goods along the Tonegawa River that it was said to rival Edo. 

Against this backdrop, Chiba made its own mark on Japanese culture.
It has always been the local people who bear our culture.  This continues today, as our citizens cooperate, forming energetic NPOs and volunteer groups, to preserve and celebrate our cultural resources.

The Sawara Grand Festival, held twice a year in July and October (Katori City)
Sawara-no Taisai Festival

An ancient tomb and multitude of Haniwa, restored to their original states (Sakae-machi)
Haniwa(Clay Image)


Futomaki-matsuri-zushi,  decorative festival snacks of rice, pickles, and seafood

Historic Contributions

Hishikawa Moronobu (c.1630-1694)
Hishikawa is said to be the father of Japan’s Ukiyo-e style of art. His masterpiece, "Mikaeri bijin", was famously used on a Japanese postal stamp.

Nami-no-Ihachi (1751-1824)
Nami-no-Ihachi's dramatic wood carvings of the waves of Chiba's Sotobo coast reportedly influenced Katsushika Hokusai, one of Japan's most well-known artists.

Ino Tadataka (1745-1818)
Though he did not learn surveying until age 55, Ino traversed the entire country by foot, making the first map of Japan that was accurate to modern surveying standards.

"Mikaeri bijin"
"Mikaeri bijin"

Ihachi's wave carvings
Ihachi's wave carvings

Preserving, Celebrating, and Creating Anew


Performance in Duesseldorf,Germany(March 26, 2009 Duesseldorf)

The Chiba Prefecture Youth Orchestra performs many concerts both in Japan and abroad.  The orchestra’s popularity and skill has earned it international acclaim, and it is one of Chiba’s most valued treasures.

 

Boso-no-Mura
At Boso-no-Mura, an open-air museum near Narita, visitors explore life-size reconstructions of local homes and buildings from the Edo (1603-1867) and Meiji (1868-1912) Periods, and experience traditional activities like weaving, paper-making, old-style cooking, or even trying on samurai armor.