Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
Researcher information (To researchers) Need Help? How to update
Koji MIZOGUCHI Last modified date:2019.06.06

Professor / The Basic Structures of Human Societies
Department of Environmental Changes
Faculty of Social and Cultural Studies

Graduate School
Undergraduate School
Other Organization
Administration Post
Director of the Advanced Asian Archaeology Research Center(QA3RC)

Academic Degree
Ph.D. (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Field of Specialization
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
News: (April, 2019) I have been appointed a board member of ICOMOS Japan (

News: (2 September, 2016) I have been re-elected the President of the World Archaeological Congress at the Plenary of WAC-8 Kyoto 2016.

News: (23 May, 2015) I was awarded 5th Gand Prize of the Japanese Archaeological Association for Mizoguchi, Koji. 2013. The Archaeology of Japan: from the earliest rice farming villages to the rise of the state. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (

News: Solicited article 'A Future of Archaeology' will be published in Antiquity, Issue 343 (February 2015) as the inaugural article of the series 'Archaeological Futures'
( DOI:

News: I have been elected the 6th president of World Archaeological Congress (WAC), January, 2013

My mission in teaching and conducting research activities at Kyushu University is as follows:

1. Educating students as to how to excavate, record, and make sense of the material culture of the past by referring to very latest outcomes of international theoretical and methodological discussions.

2. Teaching students the "contextuality" of doing archaeology as a profession in contemporary world in which the past is given increasingly significant social, cultural, and political meanings.

3. Training students to enable themselves to deliver academic presentations in international meetings and contribute their articles to international journals in English.

4. Internationalising Japanese archaeology through education (see above) and writing and presenting in English as much as possible.

I have been elected a fellow of Society of Antiquaries of London on 19 June, 2008

I have been elected the 6th president of World Archaeological Congress (WAC), January, 2013

The outcomes so far include:

"An Archaeological History of Japan: 30.000 BC to AD 700". Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.

"Archaeology, Society and Identity in Modern Japan". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. (

"The Archaeology of Japan: from the Earliest Rice Farming Villages to the Rise of the State". Cambridge University Press, in press, Due our August 2013

"Identity, Modernity, and Archaeology: The Case of Japan". In "A Companion to Social Archaeology" (eds. by L. Meskell and R. Preucel), pp. 396-414. Oxford: Blackwell.

Mizoguchi, K. 2009. Nodes and edges: A network approach to hierarchisation and state formation in Japan. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, Vol.28-1: 14-26.
Research Interests
  • The long-term transformation of material culture as seen from social systems theory perspectives
    keyword : Material culture, long-term transformation, communication, cosil systems
  • An application of social network theory and allied methods to the comparative study of the emergence and the development of social complexity
    keyword : social network analysis, social systems theory, complexity, state formation, Japan, Europe
  • The disciplinisation of archaeology and the formation of Modern institutions
    keyword : modernity, disiciplinisation of scientific subjects, archaeology, nation-state, ethnicity
    1998.01"A study of the disciplinisation of archaeology and its interdependence with modernity and the nation-state": The study traces the co-tarnsformational process of the disciplinisation of archaeology and the emergence, maturation and transformation of Modernity and the nation-state. An outcome will be published in the form of: Mizoguchi, Koji (in press) "Archaeology, Society and Identity in Modern Japan". Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press (due out in 2005).
  • An archeologcial study of the transformation of the conception of time and temporality
    keyword : time, temporality, scheduling, cyclical time, linear time, archaeology, social archaeology, prehistory
    2004.01"An archeologcial study of the transformation of the conception of time and temporality": The study attempts to reconstruct the co-transformational process of social complexity and the conception of time from the hunter-gatherer stage through the emergencce of ancient states. Constituting a paer of the international project: "The origins of spirituality" (leader: Professor Lord Colin Renfrew, Unievrsity of Cambridge).
Current and Past Project
  • To investigate the inter-communal/regional networks of the Neolithic of England and the role played by enclosures in them by examining and excavating some enclosure sites of Dorstone, Herefordshire, UK.
  • The project, funded by the Templeton Foundation, U.S.A., aims to trace the trajectory of the development of "spirituality" and "religious activities" in a broad sense since the emergence of Homo Sapiens Sapiens through the emergence of complexity and the ancient state. I am the only Asian scholar chosen to be the core members of four for the project.
Academic Activities
1. Mizoguchi, Koji Smith, Claire, Global Social Archaeologies: Making a Difference in a World of Strangers, Routledge, pp. 358, 2019.06, [URL].
2. Mizoguchi, Koji, Mizoguchi, K. 2017. The Yayoi and Kofun Periods of Japan. in Handbook of East and Southeast Asian Archaeology (eds. by J. Habu, P.V. Lape, J.W. Olsen), pp. 561-602. New York: Springer., Springer, pp. 561-602, 2017.12, [URL].
3. Mizoguchi, Koji, Mizoguchi, K. 2017. Anthropomorphic Clay Figurines of the Jomon Period of Japan. in The Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Figurines (ed. by T. Insoll), pp. 521-544. Oxford: Oxford University Press., Oxford University Press, pp. 521-544, 2017.04, [URL].
4. Koji MIZOGUCHI, Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World, Cambridge University Press, Chapter 16. ( pp. 255-279) 'De-Paradoxisation of Paradoxes by Referring to Death as an Ultimate Paradox: The Case of the State-Formation Phase of Japan', 2015.10, [URL].
5. Koji MIZOGUCHI, The Archaeology of Japan: from the Earliest Rice Farming Villages to the Rise of the State, Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-371, 2013.11, [URL], This is the first book-length study of the Yayoi and Kofun periods of Japan (c.600 BC–AD 700), in which the introduction of rice paddy-field farming from the Korean peninsula ignited the rapid development of social complexity and hierarchy that culminated with the formation of the ancient Japanese state. The author traces the historical trajectory of the Yayoi and Kofun periods by employing cutting-edge sociological, anthropological and archaeological theories and methods. The book reveals a fascinating process through which sophisticated hunting-gathering communities in an archipelago on the eastern fringe of the Eurasian continent were transformed materially and symbolically into a state..
6. Carl Knappett, ed., Knappett, Carl, ed., 2013. Network Analysis in Archaeology: New Approaches to Regional Interaction (Mizoguchi, K. 'Evolution of prestige good systems: an application of network analysis to the transformation of communication systems and their media', pp. 151-178), Oxford University Press, 2013.04, The paper argues that the systemic generation of differentlal centrality to individual units of social interaction resulted in the formation of large bodies of socio-political integration in ancient societies. The thesis is illustrated through the investigation of evidence from the Yayoi and Kofun periods of Japan by applying formal network analysis methods..
7. J. Lydon and U.Z. Rizvi, eds., Handbook of Postcolonial Archaeology, Left Coast Press, Chapter 6: "The colonial experience of the uncolonized and colonized: the case of East Asia, mainly as seen from Japan" (pp. 81-91), 2011.01, [URL].
8. Koji Mizoguchi, Archaeology, Society and Identity in Modern Japan, Cambridge University Press, 2006.05, [URL].
9. Miriam T. Stark, et al, Archaeology of Asia: Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology, Blackwell, Oxford, U.K., Chapter 4 "Self-Identification in the Modern and Post-Modern World and Archaeological Research: A Case Study from Japan" (pp. 55-73), 2005.08, [URL].
10. Koji Mizoguchi, An Archaeological History of Japan, 40,000 BC to AD 700, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, U.S.A., pp. 1-274, 2002.04, [URL].
11. Lynn Meskell, Robert Preucel,, A Companion to Social Archaeology, Blackwell, Oxford, U.K., Chapter 17 "Identity, Modernity, and Archaeology: The Case of Japan" (pp. 396-414), 2004.10, [URL].
12. Joanna sofaer Derevenski, et al., Children and Material Culture, Routledge, Chapter 11 "The child as a node of past, present and future" (pp. 141-150), 2000.06, [URL].
13. Holtorf, Cornelius, Karlsson, Hakan, et al., Philosophy and Archaeological Practice: Perspectives for the 21st Century, Bricoleur Press, Sweden, Mizoguchi, Koji Anthony Giddens and Niklas Luhmann. pp. 13-24, 2000.01, [URL].
1. Koji MIZOGUCHI, Mizoguchi, K. 2008. Comment to I. Kuijt The Regeneration of Life: Neolithic Structures of Symbolic Remembering and Forgetting. Current Anthropology, Vol.49, No.2: 171-197 (190-191), Current Anthropology, Vol.49, No.2, 2008.06.
1. Mizoguchi, Koji, Re-thinking the origin of agriculture through the‘beginnings’ in the Japanese archipelago, JAPANESE JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, 6, 2, 95-107, 2019.03, [URL], The way in which we investigate the origin of something is largely determined by the way we intend to understand it. In the case of the origin of agriculture, the situation is further complicated by the tone of the investigation, which is not only determined by how we define and understand the set of human activities characterised and described as agriculture but also influenced by the way in which we define and understand those other beginnings we believe were causally linked to the development of agriculture, that are, the development of complexity, the beginning and spread of language and ethnic groups, and so on. The investigation of the beginning of agriculture in Japan offers us some good cases which show that the uncritical coupling of agriculture with those beginnings not only are erroneous but also hinder the development of nuanced approaches to human-plant/animal interactions and their impact on human society. This paper illustrates those problems by studying Jomon food procurement activities and proposes a way to overcome the problems by introducing the concept of the spatio-temporal organisation of social life and by linking hunting, gathering and farming practices to the spatio-temporal organisations of Jomon and Yayoi social life..
2. Mizoguchi, Koji, Uchida, Junko, The Anyang Xibeigang Shang royal tombs revisited: a social archaeological approach, Antiquity,, 362, 709-723, Issue 362, 2018.05, [URL], The Shang Dynasty has attracted much archaeological research, particularly the renowned ‘royal tombs’ of the Xibeigang cemetery at Anyang Yinxu, the last Shang capital. Understanding of the social strategies informing Shang mortuary practices is, however, very limited. A new reconstruction of the detailed chronology of the cemetery is presented here, allowing social theory to be applied, and reveals the strategic social decisions behind the placement of the tombs in relation to each other. The results of this analysis are important not only for the reconstruction of the social structure and organisation of the late Shang dynasty, but also for understanding the relationship between mortuary practices and the functioning of early states in other regions..
3. Koji MIZOGUCHI, STAŠA BABIĆ, RAIMUND KARL, MONIKA MILOSAVLJEVIĆ, CARSTEN PALUDAN-MÜLLER, TIM MURRAY, JOHN ROBB, NATHAN SCHLANGER, ALESSANDRO VANZETTI, What is ‘European Archaeology’? What Should it be?, European Journal of Archaeology,, 20, 1, 4-35, 2017.01, [URL], ‘European archaeology’ is an ambiguous and contested rubric. Rooted in the political histories of European archaeology, it potentially unites an academic field and provides a basis for international collaboration and inclusion, but also creates essentialized identities and exclusionary discourses. This discussion article presents a range of views on what European archaeology is, where it comes from, and what it could be..
4. Koji Mizoguchi, The yayoi and kofun periods of japan, Handbook of East and Southeast Asian Archaeology, 10.1007/978-1-4939-6521-2_34, 561-601, 2017.01, The Yayoi and Kofun (meaning ‘old tumuli’) Periods of the Japanese Archipelago witnessed the introduction of rice paddy field agriculture and the subsequent rapid development of social complexity and hierarchy, culminating in the establishment of ascribed social stratification and the formation of an early state. The process can most typically be observed in the transformation of the way people dwelled and buried the dead. In what follows, I trace that process in Japan and describe possible causes of significant changes punctuating the historical trajectory by focusing on settlement and mortuary evidence.1.
5. The trajectory of the transformation of archaeological theories and its historical background.
6. Koji MIZOGUCHI, A Future of Archaeology, Antiquity,, 89, 343, 12-22, 2015.02, [URL], As archaeologists we look to the past, but where might archaeology be going in the future? In this issue of Antiquity we begin a new feature where we invite archaeologists from different parts of the world to consider how the subject may or should develop in the coming years. For the first of these, Koji Mizoguchi, President of the World Archaeological Congress and Professor at Kyushu University in Japan, offers a perspective on the regional traditions of archaeology within an increasingly globalised world..
7. When the World Changes: An Archaeological Approach through a case study of the Middle Yayoi Period in Northern Kyushu.
8. Koji MIZOGUCHI, The centre of their life-world: the archaeology of experience at the Middle Yayoi cemetery of Tateiwa-Hotta, Japan, Antiquity, 88, 341, 836-850, 2014.09, [URL], Social analysis of cemeteries has traditionally viewed them as static images of social organisation. In this study of the Middle Yayoi jar-burial cemetery of Tateiwa-Hotta, however, the dynamic interrelationship between competing groups and successive generations can be discerned. Two initial burials proved to be foundational acts, followed by over 40 further burials spread over a series of generations. Differences in grave orientation and grave goods signalled the separate identities of the adjacent hamlets that came to bury their lineage leaders in this prominent location. Competition between lineages is indicated by externally acquired grave goods, including prestigious bronze mirrors from the Han commandery of Lelang in Korea, and by the varying styles of burial jar that illustrate and symbolise connections or alliances with other communities..
9. The organisational characteristics of the Ysyoi society and its hierarchisation: communication, contingency, and networks.
10. MIZOGUCHI, Koji, Nodes and edges: A network approach to hierarchisation and state formation in Japan. , Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, Vol.28-1: 14-26, 2009.03, [URL].
11. Mizoguchi, Koji, The emergence of anthropomorphic representation in the Japanese archipelago: a social systemic perspective, Image and Imagination: a global prehistory of figurative representation (McDonald Institute Monographs), pp. 185-197, 2007.11.
12. Mizoguchi, Koji, Genealogy in the ground: observations of jar burials of the Yayoi period, northern Kyushu, Japan, Antiquity, 79, 304, 316-326, Volume 79, Number 304: 316-326, 2005.06, [URL].
13. Mizoguchi, Koji, Time and genealogical consciousness in the mortuary practices of the Yayoi period, Japan, Journal of East Asian Archaeology, Vol.3, Nos.3-4: 173-197, 2002.06, [URL].
14. Mizoguchi, Koji, The reproduction of arcaheological discourse: the case of Japan, Journal of Euroepan Archaeology, Vol.5, No.2: 149-165, 1997.12, [URL].
15. Mizoguchi, Koji, Time in the reproduction of mortuary practices, World Archaeology, Vol. 25-2: 223-35, 1993.10, [URL].
1. Koji Mizoguchi, What role can world archaeological organizations play in the condition of globalization and fragmentation , European Association of Archaeologists 24th Annual Meeting Barcelona 2018, 2018.09, [URL], This contribution argues that world archaeological organizations such as WAC can play a significant role as an arena for continued discourse in which both the clash of interests/different epistemic-ontological stances and cordiality as an absolute rule for being there are taken for granted. It is a truism to say, in the current condition of globalization and the proliferation of fragmentation in self-identification and epistemic-ontological frameworks, that everything archaeological is the subject of negotiation between stakeholders. That perception/increasingly shared recognition leads to the increased emphasis on managerialism in archaeological discourse on one hand and the avoidance of epistemically-ontologically informed dialogue as to how we can do archaeologies better. However, it is clear from our daily experiences that we have to tackle pressing contemporary issues with archaeological implications such as abusive utilizations of heritage for various harmful/discriminately causes in ethically and theoretically-informed manners. In that regard, we have to maintain and, if necessary, consciously create an arena in which epistemic-ontological disputes are not only tolerated but also encouraged without the fear of backlash. For that purpose, world archaeological organizations such as WAC and EAA can play a significant role because such organizations are ‘’meant to be’ highly inclusive and have established their shared images to be politically conscious and active. Some concrete examples of personal positive experiences that support the argument will be shared.

2. Koji Mizoguchi, THE CENTRALIZATION AND HIERACHISATION OF INTER-COMMUNAL RELATIONS CONSTITUTED BY ISLAND TOPOGRAPHY: THE CASE OF JAPAN, European Association of Archaeologists, 2017.09, [URL], The topography and the distribution of watercourses of an island significantly constitutes the topological characteristics of emergent networks of interaction that lead to differential
developments of the centrality of network nodes, resulting in inter-communal hiearchisation. By investigating the process of inter-polity hiearchisation that rapidly progressed
during the Late Yayoi and the Early Kofun periods of Japan, the paper illustrates how the unique topography and the presence of an inland sea connecting the gateway communities
of the Kyushu island and the Kinki region of the Honshu island of the Japanese archipelago resulted in the rapid development of inter-communal hierarchy without the
significant uneven distribution of resources, differential developments of social complexity, or that of military powers..
3. Koji MIZOGUCHI, Formal network analysis and archaeological theorisation: a proposition for fruitful collaboration, European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting 2015, 2015.09, [URL], How to choose an appropriate formal network analysis method determines the usefulness and validity of the outcome of the investigation. The paper examines the implications of different formal network analysis methods and consider their suitability to different types of data and research objectives..
4. Koji MIZOGUCHI, Contextualizing the Theory of Archaeological Theorization, Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting 2015, 2015.04, [URL], Archaeological theories are the products of their contemporary social formation. The paper examines the ways in which the acts of theorization are embedded in contemporary society and its reality/realities..
5. Koji MIZOGUCHI, The constitution of life-world and its materialisation: a study of the emergent process of certain realities from Yayoi period Japan and Final Neolithic/Early Bronze Age England, UK., Theoretical Archaeology Group Annual Conference, 2014.12, [URL].
6. Koji MIZOGUCHI, How we have come to do archaeology the way(s) we do: a meta-critique of current ar- chaeological discursive formation, European Association of Archaeologists 19th Annual Meeting, 2013.09, [URL].
7. Koji MIZOGUCHI, Prestige Goods and Social Hierarchization Revisited: A Formal Network Approach to the Hierarchization of Intercommunal Relations in the Middle Yayoi Period in Northern Kyushu, Japan, Society for American Archaeology 2013 Annual Meeting, 2013.04, [URL].
8. Koji MIZOGUCHI, An archaeological approach to materiality: a critical long-term perspective, World Archaeological Congress 7th International Conference, Dead Sea, Jordan, 2013.01, [URL], This paper argues that materiality needs to be situated in historically-contingent contexts in terms of what element(s) of materiality mattered most to people, i.e., what specific effects does materiality generate? and what specific consequences does it lead to? This paper argues for this approach to materiality by investigating long-term material-human dialectics that unfolded in pre- and proto-historic Japan, between c. 4,000 BC to 500 AD.
9. Koji MIZOGUCHI, Society against stratification’ and its transformation: the case of Yayoi period northern Kyushu, Japan, The 34th Annual Conference of the Theoretical Archaeology Group, 2012.12, [URL].
10. , [URL].
11. , [URL].
12. , [URL].
13. The colonial experience of the colonized and uncolonized: the case of East Asia, mainly as seen from Japan, [URL].
14. The orgnisational characteristics of the Yayoi society and its hierarchisation: communications, contingency, and networks.
15. Rethinking “prestige good systems”: the self-organization of complexity and hierarchy on the periphery of the empire, [URL].
17. Koji MIZOGUCHI 25.5.2008 The long-term transformation of communication systems: the case of Japanese prehistory (in the session "Beyond immediacy and intimate: individuals and experience in the long duree). Theoretical Archaeology Group (USA) Inaugural Meeting, Columbia University, USA, [URL].
18. koji Mizoguchi 24.5.2008 The formation of large-scale polities and the "transcendental" (in the session: "Creating and Contesting Knowledge in Antiquity) Theoretical Archaeology Group (USA) Inaugural Meeting at Columbia University, New York, USA, [URL].
19. How do we make sense of mortuary evidence?, [URL].
20. Doing archaeology in the risk environment: beyond "epistemic-ontological precaution", [URL].
21. Theorising the history of contemporary archaeological theory, [URL].
22. An observation of the reproduction of contemporary archaeological discursive space, or the problem of immediacy and spontaneity without co-presence, [URL].
23. Mizoguchi, Koji 2005 In what ways does heritage matter in modern Japan. Oral presentation to the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Semnar: "Does Heritage Matter? Is the Past Serving the Present in Japan and in Europe?" Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, U.K., 21 September, 2005, [URL].
24. Mizoguchi, Koji 2005 Doing Archaeology in the High-/Post-Modern World as "Academics". Oral presentation to the session: "Iconocrash and Archaeological Image Wars." In The Euroepan Association of Archaeologists 11th Annual Meeting, Cork, Republic of Ireland, 5-11 September, 2005., [URL].
Membership in Academic Society
  • World Archaeological Congress
  • Japanese Archaeological Association
  • Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association
  • Society for East Asian Archaeology
  • European Association of Archaeologists
  • Society for American Archaeology
  • Society for Kyushu Archaeology
  • Society of Archaeological Studies
  • The Grand Prize of the 5th Japanese Archaeological Association Prize is given to: Mizoguchi, Koji. 2013. The Archaeology of Japan: from the earliest rice farming villages to the rise of the state. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 8th Kyushu Archaeological Society Award
  • 3rd Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Prize (JSPS Prize) for "Theoretical and Methodological Development of Social Archaeology and Its Applications"
Educational Activities
My seminar course for MA students and Ph.D. candidates are designed to let students virtually experience a whole process of the production of archaeological knowledge and to train them to become capable of reporting new findings, methodological, theoretical, or otherwise, to international audience.

The unit consists of 1) theme-oriented discussion classes, 2) lectures on archaeological theories and methods, and 3) English-presentation sessions on the outcomes of students' on-going researches.

Many of the students of the class 2003-2004 have already presented their papers in international conferences, notably in "The 3rd World Conference of the Society for East Asian Archaeology, Daejon, Korea, June 2004".
Other Educational Activities
  • 2013.08, Myself and research students were involved in the preliminary research excavations of Neolithic hill-top enclosures and a long barrow in Dorston, Herefordshire, UK in late August, 2013. It was the third season of what is going to be a long-term project exploring human-environment-landscape interactions in the early Neolithic period, and the students experienced at first hand practical English communication in a field-research environment and learnt how to undertake field and museum research in UK. .
  • 2012.09, Myself and research students were involved in the preliminary research excavations of Neolithic hill-top enclosures and a long barrow in Dorston, Herefordshire, UK in late August and early September, 2012. It was the second season of what is going to be a long-term project exploring human-environment-landscape interactions in the early Neolithic period, and the students experienced at first hand practical English communication in a field-research environment and learnt how to undertake field and museum research in UK. (
  • 2011.07, Myself and research students were involved in the preliminary research excavations of Neolithic hill-top enclosures and a long barrow in Dorston, Herefordshire, UK in July and early August, 2011. It was the first season of what is going to be a long-term project exploring human-environment-landscape interactions in the early Neolithic period, and the students experienced at first hand practical English communication in a field-research environment and learnt how to undertake field and museum research in UK..
Professional and Outreach Activities
2011~present: Collaborative regional archaeological project with University of Manchester and Herefordshire Archaeology
2019~present: Japan ICOMOS board of Directors.