People Who Skillfully Made Use of Nature

The deciduous broad-leaved forests that cover much of eastern Japan were filled with not only a variety of animals but also vegetative foods like acorns, sweet chestnuts, and horse chestnuts. A region with dramatic seasonal changes, the inhabitants of this area made skillful use of the changes in the environment.
Spring: When the long winter ended and the snow melted, the vegetation came to life at once. The plants’ sprouts and stems were a precious food during this time.
Summer: Summer was ideal for fishing. You could catch sweetfish and dace in the rivers as well as different kinds of carps in the wetlands. This was also the time for making earthenware.
Fall: The season of ripening, fall was the busiest time of the year. Everyone in the village took to the hills to collect acorns, horse chestnuts, sweet chestnuts, and walnuts as well as pick mountain grapes and akebia fruit. It was also possible to fish salmon and trout that came up river to lay eggs.
Winter: Winter was the hunting season. People hunted bear, deer, wild boar, wild goose, duck, and pheasant. This was also the time to make powder from the scraps and nuts collected in fall to obtain starch.