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It's a mix... Artic culture originally, surely, with the Aïnus, but some real contact with proto-China  !
It's always more complicated when it's islands ! Each ripple crosses over many time, you loose track !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 25th, 2007 at 06:11:48 PM EST
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Oh, I didn't mean to suggest an Arctic pattern, but a more Northerly one -- or perhaps it would be more correct to say, Old European -- I think the Basques, too, may have had homesteads. Of course there is mixture and overlay when you look at la longue duree! I think I remember hearing that some Japanese homesteads had remained in certain families for a thousand years and that in homestead cultures it was customary to go on pilgrimages.

It's not a field I know much about, myself.

by John Culpepper on Sun Feb 25th, 2007 at 06:58:44 PM EST
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I remember hearing that some Japanese homesteads had remained in certain families for a thousand years and that in homestead cultures it was customary to go on pilgrimages.

That's an intriguing thought...anyone got any possible info?

I'm thinking...yes...you have the homestead, land, food, maybe some form of wealth stored up (not just money) over the years, so then someone wants to go...on a pilgrimage...they'll have the time...the homestead will not be left empty...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Feb 25th, 2007 at 07:12:05 PM EST
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I heard it by chance on a taped recording of a conversation by the late anthropologist Conrad Arensberg. I believe he has written several text books, as well as a  definitive ethnography of Ireland (years ago).

As far as cities, I don't have any formal knowledge about city planning, but to me, the Mediterranean-European  pattern with numerous handsome squares setting off public gathering places, such as a guild hall or cathedral, is  most appealing -- with markets and recreation close by -- and lots of Parks.
 

by John Culpepper on Mon Feb 26th, 2007 at 09:00:26 AM EST
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Originally those weren't Parks (that's an end of 19th century concept), but were often "Foirails" (fair grounds), either in, and most often on the border, of the city's limit.
Green because not so often used and not paved as the central piazza.

Still, you're right. :-) Public gathering spaces is one of those main quality of the Mediterranean city...

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Mon Feb 26th, 2007 at 10:04:50 AM EST
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