Who are the Japanese?
This question is very important for the Japanese self-image and self-identity and also very sensitive. The Japanese are proud to say that all Japanese are culturally and biologically identical. There is no linguistic or racial difference. There is no other language like theirs. The mirrors that live on the island of Hokkaido in the north are quite different, but their numbers are very small.
If you read Japanese history in Japanese textbooks before 1946, it was taught in Japan with the help of stories written between 712 and 720. The sun-goddess Amatiraso (born of the left eye of the great Izanagi) sent her grandson Nenegi to earth to marry an earthly god in Japan. Their great-grandson Jammu, with the help of a sacred bird, defeated the invading enemies and then crowned the Japanese monarchy. This happened in 660 BC. From then on, the historical stories of the thirteen kings were fabricated between the writing of the stories of the eighth century.
Before the end of World War II, King Hirohito of Japan admitted that he was not the son of a god. Japanese historians had to justify his statement. Although today’s Japan is relatively free, it is not complete. The 158 large tombs called coffins, built between the 4th and 7th centuries and containing the remains of the royal family, are still owned by the Imperial Household Agency and cannot be opened.
Nowhere else is there such a large budget for archeology in Japan. Fifty thousand field workers are working in this field. As a result, only one-tenth of all neolithic sites discovered in Japan have been discovered in China. Every discovery makes headlines and TV news. The Japanese want to prove that they have lived here since ancient times and have been more civilized than the rest of the world. Somewhere, for example, an archaeologist may be drawing attention to the fact that garbage dumps 2,000 years ago show how much the Japanese 2,000 years ago cared about cleanliness.
One obstacle to discussing Japanese archeology is that one of the reasons for the current attitude of the Japanese is the past, and an example of this is their historically strained relations with Korea. Archeology, for example, shows that from the 4th to the 8th century, there was a great deal of exchange between Japan and Korea. The Japanese conclude that Japan had conquered Korea and enslaved Korean workers and artists. The Koreans conclude that this means that Korea conquered Japan and that the Japanese royal family actually came from Korea.
Branches of the fifth century Sword.
When Japan occupied Korea in 1910, Japanese military leaders called it a “return to the ancient arrangement.” For the next 35 years, the Japanese sought to eradicate Korean culture. Japanese was replaced by Japanese in schools. There are still “nose shrines” in Japan with Korean noses cut off as trophies in the 16th century.
Another example is a fifth-century royal sword in the Tokyo National Museum, considered a national heritage site. His words on the silver were dim. It has been considered a Japanese word. In 1966, a Korean historian shocked the Japanese by suggesting that the words were in fact Korean, and this was proof that those who came from Korea occupied Japan. (Saying such a thing in Japan can be detrimental to your honor and health.) So what was the “ancient arrangement”?
The Sushima Strait separates today’s two economic superpowers. The two have been looking at each other through the poisoned lens of history. From the lens of false stories and true historical atrocities. Reaching a common ground between the two is key to future peace in East Asia. Who are the Japanese, what is their relationship with the Koreans? What do they have in common?
If I am not Japanese or Korean, it is not so difficult for me to know the answer to this question because I have nothing to do with the consequences. None of the results affect my identity, my day, my behavior, or my group of friends and enemies. The answers we have received so far about the Japanese’s past are unpopular with both Koreans and Japanese. There is a long history of knowing them and the evidence behind them and many things are not yet known but analysis of the available evidence tells us many things.
12700 year old vessels made in the world.
The first human arrival in Japan came from the island of Hokkaido in the north during the Ice Age, when it had a land route from Russia via Sakhalin Island. The route from Korea was south of the Sushima Strait and Japan itself was a piece of land. (The Yellow Sea and much of the East China Sea were landlocked). There were monkeys and bears coming from these routes and also human beings who came here thirty thousand years ago. Thirteen thousand years ago, its land route was cut off from the world.
Japan is a very fertile land. Today’s Japan is 70% forested (for comparison: 10% of Britain is forested). Its agricultural land production is very high. Due to the fertility of the land, there is an abundance of fish in the rivers and seas. The oldest pottery in the world is made in Japan and is 12,700 years old. These pots expanded the food. Fruits like leafy vegetables, shellfish, chestnuts and acorns that could be poisoned by cooking, soft food for children, food for those without teeth, all made possible by these utensils. The population began to grow rapidly. These people are called Jomon. Painting vessels, their made ropes, spears, fishing nets are their markings. Due to the abundance of food, they did not need agriculture at all.
On the other hand, there was the advent of agriculture in East Asia. Crops of millet, bitter gourd, melon, black wheat, poppy, shishu (a spice) had started growing. On the Korean side there were poor peasants, on the Japanese side there were prosperous people who were living comfortably in the old ways. Their trade had begun. Trade routes were opened from Korea, Russia and Okinawa. The population of Jomon in Japan reached 2.5 million, which is very small today, but it is a huge number for those who have such a lifestyle. Jomon had no animals other than dogs, no metal, no writing, no art of making cloth. People lived an equal life here. There were no palaces or magnificent tombs. There were no great leaders and no kings. On the other hand, changes were coming fast. Then the changes that took place from China to Korea 400 years BC also affected Japan. For ten thousand years, their isolated world began to change.
The people of Jomon were replaced by Yaoi in 400 BC. These farmers came to the West from Korea. One new lifestyle after another began to arrive on the island. New cultures began to emerge from agriculture, animal husbandry, new home styles, and the lifestyle of the Yaoi and Jomon. The island of Hokkaido in the north and the people of Aino are still isolated.
Large quantities of iron were imported from Korea. After a few centuries, it also began to grow here. The beginning of economic inequality began to be seen in 100 BC. Rice was now the staple food here. The magnificent tombs began in the 4th century with the tombs of Kofon, the largest earthen structure in the ancient world, which required a central government to enslave and enslave in large numbers. This marks the beginning of Japan’s political unification. From Asia came Buddhism, writing, equestrian, ceramic and metal technology.
And so we come to the part where we talk about the middle ground. The first written history in which some facts, some myths. But Japan was now fully in the light of history. Japan was now inhabited by Japanese. The current king of Japan is Akihito. He is ranked 82nd so far in this story. Jammu, the great-grandson of the sun goddess Amatirasu, is ranked 125th.
As much as Yaiwei changed Japan in seven hundred years, it had not changed in ten thousand years before that. If you are a Japanese nationalist, you will say that Yaoi was also a Jomon. They “imported” only a few things and their slaves from Korea. The nationalist Korean view is that the Koreans could not be “civilized” until the Koreans crossed the sea and conquered Japan and took their knowledge there. There are swings in both of them.
When we compare the structures of Jomon and Yaoi, we see the difference in structure. Now that DNA has begun to be obtained, it has become prominent. Jomon and Yaoi were not one. Or simply put, the Japanese were not always Japanese. The old Japanese living in Japan were the ones who are now a small minority in Japan who are mirrors. Many Japanese words come from mirrors.
But that doesn’t explain why there are no similarities between Japanese and Korean DNA and their languages. This is because in the seventh century, Korea had three separate kingdoms. Today’s Korean language comes from the kingdom of Salah. The Salah Empire eliminated the other two, erased their language and identity, and reunited Korea. The people who arrived in Japan were not from the kingdom of Salah. The names of these people were erased by the Salah Empire in Korea. Those who arrived in Japan are not related to today’s Koreans.
The Ainu have also been an undesirable minority in Japan due to their distinct appearance, language and culture, whose culture has been eliminated and discriminated against under the policy. It was a great success. They now make up only 1.5 percent of Japan’s population. In April 2019, Japan’s parliament passed a law to end this prejudice and give them equal legal status as citizens and locals. Aino’s culture will also be regularly screened at next year’s Olympics in Japan. This is a major shift in Japanese behavior in recent years.
Who are the Japanese? No, it did not come from the land of the Sun Goddess’s great-grandson. No, it’s not always settled here. They came from across the Strait of Sushma. Who wiped out the Bazi population living here. Destroyed their language, their traditions, their culture. They had better technology that made it possible. Where they came from, they were destroyed by someone else. So badly that his name was erased. Whether it is China or Australia, the subcontinent or India, Sudan or Chile, the United States or Zimbabwe, this has been the history of the world.
Whose past was it? Can it be known? It can be done by keeping the emotional attachment in place, but yes, by keeping the emotions separate.
Does it matter? Whether it’s the relationship between Korea and Japan or the Middle East, it’s a conflict, but it’s not limited to world politics. Local politics everywhere says yes, it makes a difference.
People have been using the right or wrong stories of the past as an argument in their national identity, right to live in a place, taking away life from others, considering someone inferior or superior. Proud of “our fathers were the cleanest people in the world two thousand years ago” or justifying the collection of trophies by cutting off the noses of others based on these stories is not unique to Japan.