(c. 250 BC–c. AD 250) Prehistoric culture of Japan subsequent to Jomon culture. It arose on the island of Kyushu and spread northeastward across Honshu. The Yayoi people mastered bronze and iron casting, wove hemp, and employed a Chinese method of wet-paddy rice cultivation. Yayoi pottery is unglazed; early examples have incised decorations, but pieces produced in the last stage of the period are often undecorated. Chinese-style bronze mirrors and coins indicate contact with Han-dynasty China.
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