Guidebook for the Permanent Exhibitions of the
Tokushima Prefectural Museum
institutions in Bunka-no-Mori Park. It has 14
curatorial staff members and covers the following seven fields of
natural history and cultural sciences: geology, zoology, botany,
archaeology (including conservation science), history, folklore and
The museum holds both permanent and special exhibitions. The permanent exhibitions consist of a General Exhibition, Departmental Exhibitions and the exhibition of La Plata Memorial Hall. Special exhibitions are organized three to four times a year.
The General Exhibition covers the geologic history of the Japanese Islands and the island of Shikoku, the human history and culture of Tokushima, and the current nature of Tokushima. The exhibition is chronologically organized.
1. Geologic Development of the Japanese Islands and Shikoku
The basal geologic structure of the Japanese Islands and Shikoku was formed through the successive accretion of trench sediments and oceanic plate materials at the eastern margin of the Asian Continent in the late Paleozoic to Cretaceous periods. Then the Japanese Islands were reformed as an island-arc with the birth of the Japan Sea in the Miocene Epoch.
Rocks and fossils from Shikoku, Japan and abroad are displayed to explain briefly the geologic history of Shikoku.
1-1. History of Life
The world's oldest fossils are of prokaryotes such as bacteria or blue-green algae which are found in the strata dating to three billion years ago. Then one billion years after the appearance of prokaryotes, eucaryotes such as green algae appeared. At the end of the Precambrian Era (600-700 million years ago), large-sized multicellular organisms called Ediacara Fauna appeared, but they were not yet testaceous.
After entering the Paleozoic Era, the number and kind of sea life increased greatly, and most groups of invertebrates that exist today appeared. The big event of life forms advancing on land also happened in the Paleozoic Era. In the Silurian Period, plants were the first to venture from water to land and were later followed by animals.
Banded iron ore from Australia
Akasta gneiss - world's oldest known rock with the age of 3.96 billion years
Precambrian fossils from the Ediacara Hills
Characteristic Paleozoic animal fossils
Paleozoic pteridophytes: Psilophyton, Sigillaria, Lepidodendron, etc.
1-2. Middle Paleozoic Japan
In the Japanese Islands, the older rocks assigning early Paleozoic age are distributed in the restricted areas such as the Hida Marginal, Kurosegawa, Southern Kitakami and Abukuma Belts. These belts are surrounded by accretionary prisms that were formed during the end of the Paleozoic Era to the Mesozoic Era.
In the Middle Paleozoic Era, there was a large supercontinent called "Gondwana" in the Southern Hemisphere which was destined to be separated and become to the present Antarctic, African, American and Indian Continents. The Asian Continent had not been formed yet, but was still separated into several parts. The early Paleozoic rocks which we once thought to be the base of the Japanese Islands were probably formed at the margin of Gondwana and transported to the present position by the plate movement.
Silurian fossils from Tokushima
Middle Paleozoic (Ordovician - Devonian) fossils from Japan
Various rocks with older ages in Japan
1-3. Implication of Ao-ishi (Green Schist)
The majority of the base of the Japanese Islands, including the Chichibu Belt, is composed of accretionary prisms which were formed during the end of the Paleozoic Era to the Mesozoic Era. There, exotic rocks such as limestone, chert and green rocks are enfolded as blocks in the younger strata of sandstone and mudstone. It is believed that these accretionary prisms were formed in the trench by the intermix of sand and mud from the continent with lava, limestone and chert carried by the oceanic plates.
The Sanbagawa Belt, being distributed to the south of the Yoshino River, is composed of crystalline schists which were metamorphosed from an accretionary prism. Awa no Ao-ishi, widely recognized in this belt, is also a kind of crystalline schist (green schist), into which submarine volcanic products were metamorphosed.
Rocks from the Chichibu Belt: green rock, chert, limestone, mudstone, etc.
Crystalline schists from the Sanbagawa Belt
1-4. Formation of the Shimanto Belt
The Shimanto Belt, being distributed to the south of the Chichibu Belt, is the southernmost geotectonic unit closest to the Pacific Ocean. The northern half of this belt is composed of the Cretaceous accretionary prism, and the southern half of the Paleogene one. On the sea floor far from the coast of the island of Shikoku, there is a subducting zone called the Nankai Trough. It is believed that modern accretionary prisms are being made there.
In the Cretaceous Period, a shallow sea covered the Chichibu Belt which had turned to the land. The strata with plant and molluscan fossils in the Katsuura Basin were made in this period. Then this shallow sea spread to the north, and in the latest Cretaceous strata of the Izumi Group was accumulated along the Median Tectonic Line (M.T.L.). There were violent volcanic activities on the land to the north of the M.T.L.
Early Cretaceous animal and plant fossils from the Katsuura Basin
Late Cretaceous ammonites from the Izumi Group
Archeozostera - a Late Cretaceous trace fossil
Paleogene trace fossils from the Shimanto Belt
1-5. The Age of Dinosaurs and Ammonites
The Mesozoic Era is also called "The age of dinosaurs and ammonites". On land, gymnospermous plants grew abundantly and dinosaurs were at their height. The dinosaurs which appeared first in the Triassic Period were relatively small, about one meter long. However, during the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, dinosaurs over 20 meters long appeared and dominated the land. In the ocean, ammonites prospered along with reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs.
Many living things including dinosaurs and ammonites disappeared suddenly at the end of the Cretaceous Period. There are various theories about why this mass-extinction occurred, but the reason are still not clear.
Skeletons of Tyrannosaurus and Titanosaurus, Cretaceous dinosaurs
Various ammonites and related animal fossils
Characteristic Mesozoic fossils
Pravitoceras sigmoidale, a Cretaceous heteromorph
ammonite from the Izumi Group.
General view of the room under the theme "1.Geologic Development of the Japanese Islands and
Shikoku". Skeletons are of Tyrannosaurus, a Cretaceous dinosaur, and of Paleoparadoxia,
a Miocene mammal.
1-6. The Birth of Shikoku Island
During the Miocene Epoch, the Japanese Islands, which had been until then a part of the Asian Continent, were separated from the continent and reformed as an isolated island-arc. At the beginning of the Miocene Epoch, a crack occurred at the east end of the Asian Continent, along which lowland zones spread. At the beginning of the Middle Miocene (about 16 million years ago), the sea entered the lowland zones and the Japan Sea started to form. The land which is the present Northeast and Southwest Japan began to move east, rotating individually.
In the Middle Miocene Epoch, much of the Japanese Islands were covered by sea and separated into many islands. A shallow sea called the "First Paleo-Seto Inland Sea" spread to the north of the Shikoku Island, covering the belt from the San-in Region to the Tokai Region through the Chugoku Mountains.
Skeleton of Paleoparadoxia, a Miocene desmostylid mammal
Mollusks lived in the First Paleo-Seto Inland Sea: Vicarya, Vicaryella,
Sanukite - a peculiar andesite being distributed in the Setouchi Region
1-7. Development of the Median Tectonic Line
The Median Tectonic Line (M.T.L.) is the most prominent active fault running 1,000 km from Kyushu to Kanto through Shikoku. The M.T.L. makes a geotectonic boundary between the inner zone (northern part) and the outer zone (southern part) of Southwest Japan. The M.T.L. began to be active in the Early Cretaceous Period and changed its nature of movement stage by stage. It is thought that a right lateral movement prevails at present in Shikoku.
The M.T.L. is not composed of only one fault line, but appears to be a group of fault systems at the southern foot of the Asan Mountains in Tokushima Prefecture. Thick alluvial fan deposits represented by the Dochu Gravel Bed have been accumulated along the M.T.L.
Cataclastic rocks along the Median Tectonic Line
Aerial photograph of the Median Tectonic Line in Tokushima
2. The age of Man
In the Glacial Age, the Japanese Islands were repeatedly connected with the Asian Continent by land. It is believed that ancestors of the Japanese people first came to the Japanese Islands for hunting game about 500 thousand years BP (Before Present) or more ago.
About 10,000 years ago, the last glacial stage (W殲m Glacial Stage) was over. As the sea level began to rose, the Japanese Islands were finally separated from the Asian Continent, and the bays and coastal plains were newly formed. With the geographical change, fauna and flora of the Islands changed accordingly. Ancestors of the Japanese people began to use earthenware, bows and arrows, and
began to settle down.
2-1. The Quaternary Japanese Islands
The climate of the Japanese Islands in the early Quaternary Period was rather warm and many subtropical to warm-temperate plants and animals were living there. As the Japanese Islands were connected with the Asian Continent by land, animals originating in Southeast Asia or North China had wide distribution.
Then the climate gradually turned cold. Accordingly, arctic to subarctic plants and animals began to enter into the Japanese Islands during and after the Middle Pleistocene Epoch, although animals and plants which liked warm climate were widely present in the interglacial stages. In these periods, the Japanese Islands and the Asian Continent were disjoined and joined repeatedly because the sea level rose and fell due to glaciers melting and freezing over again and again, as the climate changed. Cold-temperate animals such as Naumann's elephant and Yabe's giant fallow deer came to inhabit Japan abundantly in the Late Pleistocene Epoch.
Skeletons of Naumann's elephant and Yabe's giant fallow deer
Mammal fossils dredged from the sea bottom of the Naruto Straits
Representative hominid fossils from the world
2-2. Tokushima during the Paleolithic Period
It was about 20,000 years ago in the W殲m Glacial Stage when people began to live in Tokushima. At this time people made stone implements by using Sanukite, a kind of volcanic rock, transported from the present Kagawa Prefecture. Stone tools in this period were found from about 40 archaeological sites on the northern platforms of the Yoshino River and from the Hataeda Site in Anan City.
Most tools that are ever found are backed blades. They were made of Sanukite in the northern side of the Yoshino River and of chart in the southern Tokushima.
Stone tools from the Paleolithic sites in Tokushima
Sanukite - a material rock for stone tools
2-3. Humans and Nature during the Jomon Period in Tokushima
About 10,000 years ago, the last glacial stage was over and the climate became warmer. Sea level rose gradually and the natural environment had changed remarkably. People broadened their field of action to mountains and the sea.
The Jomon people lived with newly invented earthenware, used bows and arrows, and were dependent on the abundant nature. They hunted deer and wild boars, gathered conkers and acorns, dug for shellfish such as clams, ark-shells and oysters near the shore, and caught fish such as black porgies and yellowtails. They lived in rock shelters and caves. They also made pit dwellings and lived together with groups of families in one place.
Excavations from the Jomon sites: stone arrow heads, earthenware, shells,
Diorama of an evergreen broad-leaved forest in the Jomon Period
3. Birth of the Nation
In the 4th century BC, rice farming was introduced to Japan from the Asian Continent. Ironware came to be widely used for production and processing. Bronze bells, called dotaku, characterize this period. They were probably used for rice farming festivals. This period is called the Yayoi Period. Forty and several number of dotaku were excavated from Tokushima Prefecture.
By the end of the 3rd century AD, marginal villages became under the control of the greatest power in Yamato Province. In this period, a large number of burial mounds called kofun, large tombs for rulers, were constructed. This period is called the Kofun Period.
3-1. Introduction of Rice Cultivation
In the Yayoi Period, rice farming was introduced to Japan from the Asian Continent, and it spread rapidly from western Japan to eastern Japan. Consequently, people came to be able to live a steady and rich life. The population gradually became larger and bigger villages appeared. These villages were located on the heights along the river, and they were surrounded by big moats. There were many pit dwellings and high-floored storehouses which were stocked with
Imaginary picture of Minami Sho, a rice farming village around the lower stream of the Akui River,
middle Yayoi Period.
unhulled rice. The high-floored houses were centered in the village. There was a general cemetery outside the moat. When people developed new rice fields or waterways, they cooperated with one another.
Wooden tools for rice farming from the Sho Site
Stone tools and pottery from the Minami Sho Site
Stone tools for cinnabar mining from the Wakasugiyama Site
Dotaku is the Japanese name for bronze bells which were probably used at rice farming festivals in the Yayoi Period. We imagine that they were usually buried under the ground and dug out for use at festivals. At present over 430 bells have been found mainly from the Kinki Region, of which about 40 were found in Tokushima Prefecture.
The Korean-type small-sized bell was probably the root of typical dotaku with the characteristic shape. Early bells were hung and jingled. Then they changed to the "dotaku seen only" with a larger size and many decorations, losing their original function. Before long, dotaku mystically disappeared all at once from Japan, at roughly the same time when people started to construct kofun .
Representative dotaku excavated from Tokushima
Outer cast of a dotaku
Bronze swords with broad blades
Exhibition of dotaku
3-3. Appearance of Kofun
In the Yayoi Period, people made public cemeteries. Then people of the elite class began to make their family cemeteries bigger and bigger, and shortly they came to make a single large one only for the local ruler. These burial mounds are called kofun .
At the end of the 3rd century, keyhole-shaped kofun appeared in Yamato Province. After that, similarly shaped burial mounds became to be constructed in the other regions. Kofun were mounded high, roofed with stones and encircled by haniwa figures. In the inside of kofun, a stone room was provided to contain a coffin, and valuable things such as Chinese mirrors, weapons, tools and trinkets were buried with the dead.
There were various types of kofun besides the keyhole-shaped one, depending on the age and the region.
Haniwa figures from the Maeyama Site
Excavations from various burial mounds in Tokushima: bronze mirrors,
stone bracelets, iron swords, iron arrow heads, Sue pottery, etc.
Model of the Sibunomaruyama Kofun
Model of the Dan no Tsuka-ana Kofun
4. Awa in the Ancient and the Middle Ages
Until about the 10-11th century, the political and social systems were based on a statute called ritsuryo, which was constituted by the Imperial Court. In the 12th century, the Shogunate (feudal warrior government) was established and gained political power. Both the Court and the Shogunate governed Japan in the Middle Ages. In this period, many wars occurred, while agricultural productivity became higher and domestic trades were developed.
The political systems, life and religion of the people in Awa Province (modern day Tokushima Prefecture) are given attention in the exhibition.
4-1. The Emergence of Ritsuryo Government
After the Taika Reform (645), the Imperial Court compiled the Ritsuryo Statute, and became to play politics under the leadership of the Emperor. From the end of the 7th century to the beginning of the 8th century, two capital cities, Fujiwarakyo and Heijokyo, were successively constructed in Nara Province.
The areas outside the capital were gathered into the governmental system, and divided into kuni (provinces), gun (districts) and go (villages). Kokufu, local government offices, were established in the provinces.
Buddhism was introduced and used as a method to prevent the nation from disaster. In the capital city, huge temples such as Todaiji and Hokkeji were constructed, while the temples named Kokubunji and Kokubunniji were constructed around kokufu in the provinces.
Roofing tiles from the ancient temple sites
Stone coffin for secondary burial
Map of the Niijima no Sho, an estate of the Todaiji Temple
4-2. Ancient Messages Written on Tablets
By the 8th century, the Imperial Court divided the land among farmers, took a family registration and began collecting various kinds of tax. The Imperial Court also improved roads between the capital and the provinces.
In these years, wooden tablets called mokkan were popularly used to issue directives, to keep records, to practice calligraphy and also as tags. A large number of wooden tablets have been excavated from the Heijokyo and Fujiwarakyo Sites. Of these, many were labels on taxed goods sent from Awa to the capital. We can tell many things from mokkan about the tax system, taxed goods, place names, names of people, and so on, in addition to general knowledge about the life of people in ancient times.
Tombstone memorializing an official
Wooden tablets taken from the sites in ancient capitals
Pottery with letters from the Awa Kokufu Site
4-3. Awa in the Middle Ages
In the Middle Ages, shoen and koryo, both Japanese names for manors, were units of control and were at the same time places for people to live. Manors belonged to the Imperial family, nobility, temples and shrines, but it was the local warriors who were actually in charge.
In the Kamakura Period, shugo and jito were nominated to govern by the Kamakura Shogunate, and started ruling. After the start of the Muromachi Period, some rulers such as the Hosokawa and Miyoshi Families began to have more power. Rival lords fought one another and many wars broke out one after another.
Under their control, people formed villages and worked hard to increase productivity. Trading of products became very popular. In those days, warriors and farmers believed in Buddhism and Shinto. We can know about a part of their religious life by reading itabi, stone boards which were erected to memorialize Buddhists.
Itabi - stone boards memorializing Buddhists
Documents on Tanenoyama, an example of mountainous area in Awa
Daily necessaries from the medieval sites
Portraits of Hosokawa Yoriyuki and Miyoshi Nagateru
5. Awa in the Edo Period
In the Edo Period (1603-1868), people and lands were governed by feudal clans that were subordinated to the Tokugawa Shogunate. Hachisuka, the biggest clan in Shikoku, governed Awa (modern day Tokushima Prefecture).
Some traditional culture and industries of Tokushima were born and matured in the Edo Period. Ai (indigo dye) was a special product of Awa, and a large amount of it was produced and traded all over Japan. A pilgrimage that people
Model of Shitokumaru,
a state boat of the
went around the 88 temples in Shikoku became very popular also in this period.
5-1. The Hachisuka Clan and Tokushima Castle
In 1585, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a powerful warlord, conquered Shikoku and put Awa under the charge of Hachisuka Iemasa, one of his subordinates. The Hachisuka Clan reinforced castles at nine important places in preparation for emergencies. Furthermore they built Tokushima Castle and consolidated the castle town as a base to rule their territory. Tokushima Castle had its honmaru
(a donjon) and higashi ninomaru at the top of Shiroyama, and the palace at the foot of the mountain. It provided various devices for defense.
In 1615, Awaji (modern day Awaji Island), was also given to the Hachisuka Clan by the Tokugawa Shogunate. Since then, Hachisuka continued to rule both Awa and Awaji as the feudal lord with the largest domain in Shikoku until the Meiji Restoration in 1868.
Models of Tokushima Castle
Model of Shitokumaru, a state boat of the Tokushima Han
Gohanmotsu - a document addressed to Hachisuka Yoshishige from
Folding screen depicting the voyage for the alternate-year residence in Edo
5-2. Organization of the Tokushima Han
Han means the territory of a feudal lord and the system by which it is ruled. The Tokushima Han set up various posts conforming to the system of the Tokugawa Shogunate, while it took a different direction from the other han in controlling the territory. It kept the Jikata Chigyo System that gave land to main vassals for a long time. It also established Okabegaki and Uragaki that were the laws for controlling the territory, and made them the guide for politics.
The revenue of the Han depended mainly on nengu that was the basic tax paid by farmers, but the Han began to secure revenue by monopolizing special products. Although the lives of farmers were strictly controlled by the Han, they lived together in unity, holding village meetings, festivals and so on.
List of retainers of the Hachisuka Clan
Reports of religious inquisition
Model of a scene of Munetsuke aratame, census by the Tokushima Han
Various necessities for peasant village life
5-3. Ai (Indigo) and Awa Merchants
In the Edo Period, ai (indigo) was a staple product in Awa. In almost fields around the lower stream of the Yoshino River, indigo plants were cultivated.
Indigo plants were processed into indigo dyes called sukumo or ai dama. These products were distributed all over Japan and sold by Awa merchants. Some of the most influential merchants did everything from processing to selling. The Kujime, Miki, Nishino, Tanaka and Okumura Families were well known as wealthy merchants, holding counter stocks in Osaka or Kanto Region with a lot of consumers.
As the profits from indigo became larger, the Tokushima Han started a monopoly policy to protect the production and marketing of indigo in 1625. As a result, the production of indigo increased more and more, and Awa indigo became to monopolize the Japan market.
Indigo plant (replica)
Tools for cultivating and processing indigo plants: mushitori otama, ai suri,
Indigo dye products: ai dama (indigo balls) and seitaiboku (pure indigo
Model of the shop-front of a ai merchant
5-4. Awa Ningyo Joruri (Puppet Show)
It is thought that Awa Ningyo Joruri originated in a puppet show performed on Awaji Island, and was introduced to Awa during the Edo Period. The playing group in Awa and Awaji, called Ningyo Za, made provincial tours, being protected by the Tokushima Han and getting financial support from indigo merchants. They introduced new performances played in Edo (now Tokyo) and Osaka, and established their own style of performing on outside stages. They could perform nearly 800 kinds of stories, of which Keisei Awa no Naruto was most popular.
Ningyo Za used to visit villages during the farmers' leisure seasons. They were ardently welcomed by the villagers, because people had only a little amusement in that age. They also did puppet shows on stages built on the grounds of shrines with their heart of dedication. The villagers supported production of puppet shows.
Awa puppet heads: musume-gashira, marume-gashira, sanbaso, etc.
Costume of the Awaji Puppet Show
Model of the studio of Tenguhisa, a famous puppet maker in Awa
5-5. Shikoku Henro (The Shikoku Pilgrimage)
Shikoku Henro (The Shikoku Pilgrimage) began in the Heian Period. At that time, priests trained themselves by walking around very dangerous places along the coast. Then these places became popular among mountain ascetics, and later came to be linked with the religion of Kobo Daishi, a famous Buddhist. At the end of the 17th century, the basic style of the pilgrimage going around 88 temples in Shikoku was established. Then in the 19th century, guidebooks and maps about these 88 temples were published. After that the number of pilgrims increased rapidly.
The pilgrims wore white and hung white bags from their necks. Their outfits were similar to those placed on the dead. They believed that they were traveling with Kobo Daishi all the time.
Guideposts for pilgrims
Map of 88 temples in Shikoku
6. Tokushima in the Modern Age
In the modern age, the economy of Tokushima has declined gradually. In the Meiji Period (1868-1912), traditional indigo dye was replaced by artificial ones. Labor disputes in the Taisho Period (1912-1926) accelerated the decline.
For about 15 years in the early Showa Period, Japan waged successive wars of aggression in Asia, which were called the Manchurian Incident, China -Japanese War and Pacific War stage by stage. In the last year of the Pacific War (1945), Tokushima City was razed in an air raid by American warplanes.
Despite these difficult circumstances, the tradition of the Awa Dance Carnival in August was continued with some modifications.
6-1. Tokushima Air Raid
With the progress of the war in the early Showa Period, the livelihoods of the Japanese people became adverse. Most healthy men were sent to battlefields as soldiers, and even school girls were trained to fight. Shortage of food lead to the creation of a government distribution system.
Lastly Japan started the Pacific War in 1941. Gradually the war intensified and major cities were bombed by the US military. Tokushima City also received an air raid on July 4, 1945 with many casualties.
Nevertheless, people vigorously started to restore their native Tokushima after the war.
A view of the center of Tokushima City just after the Tokushima Air Raid in 1945 (adopted from
"Photographic Atlas of the Tokushima Air Raid").
Bottles deformed by the Tokushima Air Raid
Incendiary bomb dropped by US warplanes
Tools used during wartime
6-2. Awa Odori (Awa Dance Carnival)
Awa odori (Awa Dance Carnival) is said to originate in Bon dance, which were performed in various places in Awa to welcome and console the returning spirits of ancestors. It used to be held for three days beginning on July 14th of the lunar calendar.
Dancing styles of Awa odori have been transformed with the times from the Edo to Meiji, Taisho and Showa Periods. In recent years, Awa odori is well known throughout the nation for its spectacular dancing.
Paintings showing transitions of Awa odori
Documents concerning Awa odori
7. Nature and Life in Tokushima
From the 1960s onward, lifestyles of people changed drastically with the explosive development of the economy. Many environmental problems have occurred because of the economy-oriented development.
Fortunately, forests, rivers and the sea have remained in good condition in certain parts of Tokushima Prefecture, and wildlife has been preserved. Several traditional techniques for using nature, that were born from the deep knowledge of the properties of wildlife and the land, have also remained.
The exhibition seeks a harmonious coexistence with wildlife by knowing the nature and techniques well.
7-1. Nature and Life in Mountains
The terrain of Tokushima Prefecture is predominated by mountainous areas, 80% of the total land mass being covered with mountains. Being influenced by this topography, the Prefecture contains climatically varied areas ranging from warm- and cool-temperate to subarctic ones, and has variety in fauna and flora.
Low mountain areas are covered by secondary forests because people have cut plant materials in forests and used them as fuels, fertilizers for agriculture and so on. In these areas, Japanese red pine trees and some kinds of oak such as konara and kunugi are dominant. Oak forests are a storehouse of insects such as beetles. In high mountain areas, on the other hand, natural forests such as beech and shirabiso fir ones have remained, due to the lack of use by people. Northern plants and animals can be seen in these areas.
With much knowledge on the nature and living things in their own locale, rural people have learned to live in harmony with the nature, making a reasonable use of natural resources, not so as to destroy them completely.
Various animals in the mountains: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and
Wild flowers on high mountains
Tools for making wooden products and material woods
Diorama of a beech forest on Mt. Tsurugi
7-2. Nature and Life of the Yoshino River
The Yoshino River, which is also called the Shikoku Saburo, starts at Kamegamori in Kochi Prefecture and has a total length of 194 km. The Yoshino River and its tributaries drain more than half the area of Tokushima Prefecture. It provides a diversity of landscapes along its course, i.e. gorges (including the famous Oboke and Koboke Gorges) upstream, wide riverbeds at the middle and tidal flats at the estuary.
The Yoshino River also provides a habitat for wildlife. Many kinds of living things inhabit the waterside. The species and number of living things such as fish, aquatic insects and waterfowls vary according to the difference in temperature, velocity and nutrients in the water.
This river has greatly sustained our life through fishing and agriculture.
Familiar animals and plants of the Tokushima Plain
Freshwater fish in the Yoshino River
Tools for catching freshwater fishes: ayukake, hakomegane, unagimoji, etc.
Tidal flat organisms of the Yoshino River estuary
Unagimoji (left) and
tools for catching unagi
(eel) used in the
7-3. Nature and Life of the Coastal Areas
The sea surrounding Tokushima Prefecture is divided into three parts, where living things such as fish, seashells and seaweed vary according to the differences in current, temperature and salinity of the water.
In the southern sea facing the Pacific Ocean, living things preferring warm temperature can be found, being influenced by the Kuroshio Current. Off the coast, ocean fishes such as bonitos and tunas are present.
In the northern sea facing the Harimanada, a part of the Seto Inland Sea, both water temperature and salinity vary seasonally. There the sea has long shallow beaches and offers good places for red seabreams, Spanish mackerels and so on to lay eggs.
In the middle sea facing the Kii Channel, extending from the Naruto Straits to the Gamouda Cape, mixed characteristics of the other two are presented. The shirasu fishery, catching larvae of Japanese anchovy by a seine, is popular there all the year round.
Diorama of a underwater view of the southern sea in Tokushima
Edible fish of the sea around Tokushima
Tools for diving fishery: sun (abalone gauge), taru (float barrel), etc.
7-4. Precious Natural Monuments in Tokushima
The nature surrounding us has been gradually formed over many years. It would be difficult to recover once it is destroyed. However, human activities such as land developments have actually destroyed the nature, and the number and the diversity of wildlife have rapidly decreased.
For these circumstances, precious animals, plants and geologic outcrops are conserved as natural monuments, and hunting them or damaging their environment is strictly prohibited.
There are more than 70 natural monuments in Tokushima Prefecture.
Oh-unagi (Anguila marmorata) - giant long-finned eel with the length over
Oyanirami (Coreoperca kawamebari) - beautiful colored Japanese aucha
Tanuki-no-shokudai (Glaziocharis abei) - a curious saprophyte with isolated
Yakko-so (Mitrastemon yamamotoi) - a lovely parasitic plant with the
northernmost distribution in Tokushima
1. Culture and History Section
This section covers the fields of archaeology, history, pre-modern art and folklore. In the exhibition room, objects are frequently replaced in accordance with the change of the themes.
Archaeological and historical fields focus on technical changes in making ceramics in relation to the change of kilns. The works of some famous painters, applied arts and other arts in Tokushima are displayed from the collection of pre-modern art. Folk tools which were widely used in Tokushima are displayed in the field of folklore.
2. Natural History Section
This section covers the fields of geology, zoology and botany. Rocks with various origins and beautiful minerals are displayed in the geologic field. In the fields of zoology and botany, basic concepts on taxonomy, evolution and its mechanisms, and ecological interactions of living things are displayed.
2-1. Various Rocks
Rocks are usually composed of some kinds of minerals, and can be roughly divided into three groups based to their origin. Firstly, igneous rocks are formed when magmas are cooled and hardened. Secondly, sedimentary rocks are formed by the accumulation of clastic materials such as sand, mud and fragments of dead creatures. Thirdly, metamorphic rocks are formed when the original rocks are reformed to ones with different mineral composition by heat and/or pressure. The crust of the earth is mainly composed of igneous and metamorphic rocks, but sedimentary rocks have rather wide distribution near the surface.
The distribution of rocks is not uniform in each area, reflecting the different geologic events happened there. Therefore we can know the geologic history of a certain area, by studying rocks there.
Meteorites - materials derived from the space
Various igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
Microscopic view of rocks in thin section
The particles that constitute rocks are called minerals, and most minerals are crystallized. Varieties of minerals are not so many as animals or plants. Thus far only a few more than 3,000 kinds of minerals have been found from all over the world. Among them, 900 are known from Japan. This number is rather large considering the small land area of Japan.
Minerals form regularly shaped crystals with crystal surface according to their kind, if there are not any obstacles around them when they are growing. Garnet, for instance, forms a short and thick crystal, while quartz (rock crystal) grows into a hexagonal pillar with pointed head.
Amazonite - a variety of microcline feldspar
Mesolite - a kind of zeolite, showing radially arranged needle-shaped
Lazurite - ultramarine colored feldspathoid well known as jewelry stone
2-3. Species - Elements of Evolution
There are so many kinds of living things on the earth, and every living thing belongs to a species. What is a species, and how are new species formed ?
In 1859, Charles Darwin, the famous English biologist, published "The Origin of Species", and he suggested that living things have all evolved from the ancestors by a process of gradual change. He referred to his theory as to how this is possible as "natural selection". His theory of natural selection has been discussed by scientists, theorists and philosophers, with discussions still continuing.
All species living now are the result of evolution covering three billion years. At the same time, they are also the mothers of new species to be created in the future.
Toy animals and plants arranged to show a concept of classification
Pierid butterflies and satyrid butterflies - examples of "two species that look
Lucanid beetles - a example of "one species that looks like two or more"
Color variations of scallop shells and orange oakleaf
Geographic cline recognized in the size of beech leaves
Great eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina) - a example showing female
polymorphism of subspecies by isolation
2-4. Various Animals
Until now, more than one million species of animals have been identified. Moreover, it is believed that several times as many more species remain undiscovered.
Insects are the most abundant group, and account for over 70 % of total species of living things. Mollusks such as shellfish are the second, and the third are chordates, which include human beings.
Animals originated in the sea. Therefore, the more primitive species still live in the water. The number of animals living on dry land is very small, because the first thing they need is water. Most animals are smaller than human beings and are unfamiliar to us.
Model of a phylogenetic tree of animals
The ratio of the number of species
in major groups of animals.
(modified from Barnes,
Calow and Olive, 1988)
Major groups of invertebrates: jellyfishes, shells, crabs, starfishes, etc.
Insects: beetles, butterflies and moths, grasshoppers, mimicry of insects, etc.
Living and fossil vertebrates arranged to show the phylogeny of chordates
2-5. Ecological Interactions of Life
Living things can not live alone. They live in a physically and biologically interactive system called the ecosystem, interacting with each other and being influenced by climates and soils.
There are various recognized biological interactions such as "prey - predator", "competition" for nutrients, water and light, "parasitism", "symbiosis", and so on. These interactions are kept in well balanced conditions to maintain the ecosystem.
We, human beings, have to live without disturbing the balance of the ecosystem, because we are only a member of this life system.
Rafflesia (Rafflesia arnoldii) - a parasitic plant with the largest flower in the
Various parasitic plants and saprophytes
Mechanisms of pollination and seed dispersal
Native and naturalized plants: dandelions, golden rods, etc.
Nihon-kawauso (Lutra lutra whiteleyi) - a endangered Japanese otter
LA PLATA MEMORIAL HALL
In 1985, Tokushima Prefecture and La Plata National University of Argentina established an exchange system, with the purpose of exchanging materials between their museums. In this hall, extinct mammal fossils of South America donated by La Plata Museum are exhibited as the benefits of this cultural
Skeleton of Megatherium americanum, a South American giant sloth
Carapace and skeleton of Panochthus tuberculatus, a giant fossil armadillo
Skeletons of Toxodon platensis, Macrauchenia patachonica, etc.
Tokushima Prefectural Museum
Hachiman-cho, Tokushima 770
9.00 - 17.00
Mondays (except national holidays), December 28 - January 4
When a national holiday falls on Monday, the Museum is closed on Tuesday.
Adult ￥200 (￥160*)
Student (university & senior-high school)
￥100 (￥ 80*)
Child (junior-high & elementary school)
￥ 50 (￥ 40*)
* Charges for groups (20 persons or more)
Different charges are applied for special exhibitions.
c Tokushima Prefectural Museum, 1996
First edition: April l, 1996
Printed by Education Publishing Center Ltd., Tokushima