Yayoi Period (300 BCE – 250 CE)
The Yayoi Period marked a break from the Neolithic culture of the Jōmon, and a shift toward a new culture that was probably influenced by immigrants from China and Korea. These new immigrants may have supplanted the old Jōmon culture, though alternative theories hold that Yayoi culture may have been born out of Jōmon culture itself, with little input from mainland Asia. It was during this age that wet-rice production emerged, advanced pottery techniques and the use of bronze and iron are first observed, and complex social structures (including a class system, discrete farming villages, and the acquisition of wealth through grain storage) grew. However, political power remained on the village level, with no central authority.
The red portions of the map indicate the range over which evidence of Yayoi culture has been uncovered.