Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on September 2009

One can’t help but wonder what Tokyo looked like before earthquakes, war and rampant development transformed it in the 20th century. But what about the prehistory of the Kanto Plain? An intriguing show at Kawasaki’s pleasantly uncrowded city museum looks at the civilization of the Jomon Era (13,000-300 BC) through artifacts from a remarkable 500 local archeological sites—some of them uncovered during the building of the Tomei expressway. The exhibits show that Kanto was widely inhabited as early as 13,000 years ago, and that its peoples were capable of some remarkably skilled ceramics and tool work.

Kawasaki City Museum
Keisuke Kumakiri. Light and Shadow in the 60s. Photography. Until Oct 4, free. Graphic Design in the 60s-70s. Until Oct 4, free. Kawasaki, Jomon, 10,000 Years. Pottery. Until Oct 12, free (elem, MS)/¥300 (student, 65 and over)/¥500 (general). 1-2 Todoroki, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki. Tel: 044-754-4500. Open Tue-Sun 9:30am-5pm, closed Mon. Nearest stn: Musashi-Kosugi. www.kawasaki-museum.jp