Japanese people

Template:Mergefrom The Japanese (日本人, Nihon-jin) are the native people of the Japanese Archipelago. While most live on the Japanese islands, many emigrated to to various locations; predominantly Hawaii, the west coast of the United States, Latin America (particularly in Brazil), and Russia (Sakhalin, Primorsky Krai).


Origins of the Japanese people

There is archeological evidence of stone age people living in Japan from 33,000-21,000 years ago in the paleolithic period. At this time Japan was connected to Asia by land bridges, and nomadic hunter-gatherers crossed over from the continent. They left flint tools but no evidence of permanent settlements. The most accepted theory is that modern Japanese are principally descended from the Jomon, a paleo-Asiatic people, and the Yayoi, a neo-Asiatic people, with cultural influences from Imna, Gaya, Baekje, Korea and also from Sui Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, China. The Ainu, Koreans (although Sinicized), and Japanese are believed to be derived from the paleo-Turkic peoples of the Tungusic-Altaic group.

Jomon People

Pottery was first developed by the Jomon people in the 11th millennium BC. The name Jomon (繩紋 Jōmon), which means "cord-impressed pattern", comes from the characteristic markings found on Jomon pottery. The Jomon people were Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, though at least one middle to late Jomon site ca. 1200-1000 BC had rice agriculture (Minami misote 南溝手 site).

Yayoi People

In around 400-300 BC the Yayoi began to displace the Jomon. Yayoi left no records of their language, but many assume that modern Japanese should have descended from Yayoi speech. There is no direct evidence that modern shinto religion descended from Yayoi beliefs, but it is speculated by some scholars.

Genetics and Biology

Skeletons of Jomon and Yayoi people have been examined and detailed DNA studies have been made in recent years. Most Jomon and Yayoi skeletons are readily distinguishable. The Jomon people were shorter, with relatively longer forearms and lower legs, more wide-set eyes, shorter and wider faces, and much more pronounced facial topography, with strikingly raised browridges, noses, and nose bridges, while the Yayoi people averaged an inch or two taller, with close-set eyes, high and narrow faces, and flat browridges and noses. (Diamond 1998)

Studies of teeth show two distinct patterns — Sundadonty and Sinodonty. The former represents Southeast Asians, Micronesians, and Polynesians and the latter Koreans and Manchus. The former is preeminent among pure-blood Ainu and Okinawans. The teeth evidence supports the thesis that "ancient demic diffusion commencing with the Yayoi era at about 300 B.C. when an immigrant population from continental asia entered the archipelago in north Kyushu and expanded eastward, assimilating the aboriginal inhabitants". (Riley 2002)

Nihonjinron (日本人論, "discourse on the Japanese")

Nihonjinron is a Japanese term referring to a genre of discourses that posit and examine certain unique characteristics, behaviors, or thinking-patterns of the Japanese people.

In the West, nihonjinron has sometimes been seen as a nationalist ideology comparable to Nazism. In Japan, nihonjinron has sometimes been used to criticize the Japanese for underachievement and failures.

Also many foreign authors have written nihonjinron such as Ruth Benedict's The Chrysanthemum and the Sword and Eugen Herrigel's Zen in the Art of Archery among others.

ja:日本人論 it:Nihonjinron

Japanese people abroad

See also

ja:日本人 ka:იაპონელები ko:일본인 zh:大和民族


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