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are an
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
that is native to the
Japanese archipelago The Japanese archipelago (Japanese: 日本列島, ''Nihon rettō'') is a group of 6,852 islands that form the country of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a ...
and modern country of
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
, where they constitute 98.1% of the country’s population. Worldwide, approximately 129 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 125 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live outside Japan are referred to as , the
Japanese diaspora The Japanese diaspora and its individual members known as or as , comprise the Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Cente ...
. The term ''ethnic Japanese'' is used to refer to
mainland Japan is a term to distinguish the area of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , a ...
ese people, specifically the
Yamato was originally the area around today's Sakurai City in Nara Prefecture of Japan, which became Yamato Province and by extension a name for the whole of Japan. Yamato is also the dynastic name of the ruling Imperial House of Japan. Japanese hist ...
. Japanese people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world.


History


Theories of origins

Archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better underst ...

Archaeological
evidence indicates that
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
people lived in the Japanese archipelago during the Paleolithic period between 39,000 and 21,000 years ago. Japan was then connected to mainland
Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area of , about 30% of Earth's total lan ...

Asia
by at least one land bridge, and
nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo ...

nomad
ic
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
s crossed to Japan.
Flint tool A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any made either partially or entirely out of . Although stone tool-dependent societies and cultures still exist today, most stone tools are associated with (particularly ) cultures that have become e ...
s and bony implements of this era have been excavated in Japan. In the 18th century,
Arai Hakuseki was a Confucianist, scholar-bureaucrat, academic, administrator, writer and politician in Japan during the middle of the Edo period, who advised the ''shōgun'' Tokugawa Ienobu. His personal name was Kinmi or Kimiyoshi (君美). Hakuseki (白石 ...

Arai Hakuseki
suggested that the ancient
stone tool A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool made either partially or entirely out of Rock (geology), stone. Although stone tool-dependent societies and cultures still exist today, most stone tools are associated with prehistory, prehisto ...

stone tool
s in Japan were left behind by the Shukushin. Later,
Philipp Franz von Siebold Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold (17 February 1796 – 18 October 1866) was a German physician, botanist and traveler. He achieved prominence by his studies of Japanese flora (plants), flora and fauna (animals), fauna and the introduction of Wes ...
argued that the
Ainu people The Ainu or the Aynu ( ain, アィヌ, , ; ja, アイヌ, ; russian: Áйны, ), also known as the in historical Japanese texts, are an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal ...
were
indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ' ...
to northern Japan.
Iha Fuyū was the ''father of Okinawaology'' and a Japanese scholar who studied various aspects of Japanese and Okinawan culture, customs, linguistics, and lore. His signature was Ifa Fuyu in English, because of the Okinawan Okinawan may refer to: * Somet ...
suggested that Japanese and
Ryukyuan people The , also Lewchewan or Loochooan, are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands ...
have the same ethnic origin, based on his 1906 research on the
Ryukyuan languages The , also Lewchewan or Luchuan (), are the indigenous languages of the Ryukyu Islands The , also known as the or the , are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Geography of Taiwan, Taiwan: the Ōsumi Islands ...
. In the
Taishō period is a period in the history of Japan dating from 30 July 1912 to 25 December 1926, coinciding with the reign of the Emperor Taishō. The new emperor was a sickly man, which prompted the shift in political power from the old oligarchic group o ...
, Torii Ryūzō claimed that
Yamato people The or the David Blake Willis and Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu''Transcultural Japan: At the Borderlands of Race, Gender and Identity,'' p. 272: "“Wajin,” which is written with Chinese characters that can also be read “Yamato no hito” (Yamat ...
used Yayoi pottery and Ainu used Jōmon pottery. After
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, Kotondo Hasebe and Hisashi Suzuki claimed that the origin of Japanese people was not newcomers in the
Yayoi period #REDIRECT Yayoi period#REDIRECT Yayoi period The , started at the beginning of the Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in sever ...
(300 BCE – 300 CE) but the people in the
Jōmon period The is the time in Japanese prehistory Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_ ...
. However, Kazuro Hanihara announced a new
racial admixture Miscegenation () is a term which refers to reproduction by people who are considered to be members of different Race (human categorization), races. Anonymous authors invented the word in an Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, ...
theory in 1984 and a "dual structure model" in 1991. According to Hanihara, modern Japanese lineages began with
Jōmon people is the generic name of several ethnic group, peoples who lived in the Japanese archipelago during the Jōmon period. Today, most Japanese historians raise the possibility that the Jōmon were not a single homogeneous people but consisted of multipl ...
, who moved into the
Japanese archipelago The Japanese archipelago (Japanese: 日本列島, ''Nihon rettō'') is a group of 6,852 islands that form the country of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a ...
during
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history ...
times, followed by a second wave of immigration, from
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
to Japan during the Yayoi period (300 BC). Following a population expansion in
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
times, these newcomers then found their way to the Japanese archipelago sometime during the Yayoi period. As a result, replacement of the hunter gatherers was common in the island regions of
Kyūshū is the third largest island of Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the south. Japa ...
,
Shikoku is one of the five main islands of Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the sout ...

Shikoku
, and southern
Honshū , historically called , is the largest and most populous main island of Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, ...
, but did not prevail in the outlying islands of
Okinawa is a prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. T ...

Okinawa
and
Hokkaidō , officially Hokkaidō Circuit Prefecture, is the Japanese archipelago, second largest island of Japan and comprises the largest and northernmost Prefectures of Japan, prefecture. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaidō from Honshu; the two islan ...
, and the Ryukyuan and Ainu people show mixed characteristics. Mark J. Hudson claims that the main ethnic image of Japanese people was biologically and linguistically formed from 400 BCE to 1,200 CE. Currently, the most well-regarded theory is that present-day Japanese people formed from both the Yayoi rice-agriculturalists and the various Jōmon period ethnicities. A study by Lee and Hasegawa of the
Waseda University , mottoeng = Independence of scholarship , established = 21 October 1882 , type = Private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, Britis ...

Waseda University
, concluded that the "dual structure theory" regarding the population history of Japan must be revised and that the
Jōmon people is the generic name of several ethnic group, peoples who lived in the Japanese archipelago during the Jōmon period. Today, most Japanese historians raise the possibility that the Jōmon were not a single homogeneous people but consisted of multipl ...
had more ethnic diversity than originally suggested. The linguist Ann Kumar (2009) proposed that some
Austronesians The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan (collectively known as Taiwanese indigenous peoples), Maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar that ...
migrated to
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
, possibly an elite-group from
Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 147.7 million people, Java is the world's List of ...

Java
, and created the Japanese- hierarchical society and identifies 82 plausible cognates between
Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ...
and
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
. In 2021, a study found that the people of Japan bore genetic signatures from three ancient populations rather than just two as previously thought.


Jōmon period

Some of the world's oldest known
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with and other materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include , and . The place where such wares are mad ...

pottery
pieces were developed by the
Jōmon people is the generic name of several ethnic group, peoples who lived in the Japanese archipelago during the Jōmon period. Today, most Japanese historians raise the possibility that the Jōmon were not a single homogeneous people but consisted of multipl ...
in the
Upper Paleolithic The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) also called the is the third and last subdivision of the or Old . Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and years ago (the beginning of the ), according to some theories coinciding with the ...
period, dating back as far as 16,000 years. The name "Jōmon" (縄文 ''Jōmon'') means "cord-impressed pattern", and comes from the characteristic markings found on the pottery. The Jōmon people were mostly hunter-gatherers, but also practicized early agriculture, such as
Azuki bean The adzuki bean (name from ; ''Vigna angularis''; also azuki bean, aduki bean, red bean, or red mung bean), is an annual Annual may refer to: *Annual publication, periodical publications appearing regularly once per year **Yearbook **Literary an ...
cultivation. At least one middle to late Jōmon site (, ca. 1200–1000 BC) had also a primitive rice-growing
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
. They relied primarily on fish and nuts for protein. The ethnic roots of the Jōmon period population (see
Jōmon people is the generic name of several ethnic group, peoples who lived in the Japanese archipelago during the Jōmon period. Today, most Japanese historians raise the possibility that the Jōmon were not a single homogeneous people but consisted of multipl ...
) were heterogeneous and can be traced back to ancient
Northeast Asia Northeast Asia or Northeastern Asia is a geographical subregion of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Eart ...
, the
Tibetan plateau The Tibetan Plateau (, also known as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau () or as the Himalayan Plateau in India, is a vast elevated plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λ ...
, ancient
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
and
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
. A 2021 study concluded that the Jōmon people descended from a common Basal-East Asian source population in Mainland Southeast Asia, which also gave rise to the other East Asian-related populations, however the Jōmon became isolated on the Japanese archipelago at about 15,000 BCE, which resulted in their relative more Basal position compared to other East Asians. Some Jōmon subgroups, specifically the Hokkaido Jōmon, received minor geneflow from a Yana-RHS-related group, a deeply European-related Upper-Paleolithic North Eurasian population.


Yayoi period

Beginning around 300 BC, the
Yayoi people The were an ancient ethnic group that migrated to the Japanese archipelago mainly from the Korean Peninsula during the Yayoi period (300 BCE–300 CE). Radio-carbon evidence suggests the Yayoi period began between 1,000 and 800 BCE.Silberma ...
from the Korean Peninsula entered the Japanese islands and displaced or intermingled with the Jōmon. The Yayoi brought and advanced
bronze Bronze is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appear ...

bronze
and
iron Iron () is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...

iron
technology to Japan. The more productive
paddy field fields in Hanalei Valley, Kaua'i, Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, located in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles from the U.S. mainland. It is the only state outside North ...

paddy field
systems allowed the communities to support larger populations and spread over time, in turn becoming the basis for more advanced
institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent more than half a century at Harvard University Ha ...
s and heralding the new
civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to describe a stage of social formation. The concep ...

civilization
of the succeeding
Kofun period The is an era in the history of Japan The first human inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago The Japanese archipelago (Japanese: 日本列島, ''Nihon rettō'') is a group of 6,852 islands that form the country of Japan , image_ ...
. The estimated population of Japan in the late Jōmon period was about eight hundred thousand, compared to about three million by the
Nara period The of the history of Japan The first human inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago The Japanese archipelago (Japanese: 日本列島, ''Nihon rettō'') is a group of 6,852 islands that form the country of Japan , image_flag ...
. Taking the growth rates of hunting and agricultural societies into account, it is calculated that about one and half million immigrants moved to Japan in the period. According to Ann Kumar, the Yayoi created the "Japanese-hierarchical society".


Feudal period


Colonial period

During the of 1895 to 1945, the phrase "Japanese people" was used to refer not only to residents of the Japanese archipelago, but also to people from colonies who held Japanese
citizenship Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and t ...

citizenship
, such as
Taiwanese people Taiwanese people may be generally considered the people of Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous ...

Taiwanese people
and
Korean people Koreans ( South Korean: , , North Korean: , , ; see names of Korea There are various names of Korea in use today, all derived from ancient kingdoms and dynasties. The modern English name "Korea Korea (officially the "Korean Peninsula") ...
. The official term used to refer to ethnic Japanese during this period was . Such linguistic distinctions facilitated forced assimilation of colonized ethnic identities into a single Imperial Japanese identity. After the end of World War II, many
Nivkh people The Nivkh, or Gilyak (also Nivkhs, or Gilyaks; ethnonym: Нивхгу, ''Nʼivxgu'' (Amur) or Ниғвңгун, ''Nʼiɣvŋgun'' (E. Sakhalin) "the people"), are an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, a ...

Nivkh people
and
Orok people Oroks (''Ороки'' in Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (р ...
from southern
Sakhalin Sakhalin; ja, 樺太 ''Karafuto'') is the largest island of Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe. The ...

Sakhalin
, who held Japanese citizenship in the
Karafuto Prefecture Karafuto Prefecture ( ja, 樺太廳, ''Karafuto-chō''; russian: Префектура Карафуто, Pryefektura Karafuto), commonly known as South Sakhalin, was a Prefectures of Japan, prefecture of Empire of Japan, Japan located in Sakhalin f ...
, were forced to repatriate to
Hokkaidō , officially Hokkaidō Circuit Prefecture, is the Japanese archipelago, second largest island of Japan and comprises the largest and northernmost Prefectures of Japan, prefecture. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaidō from Honshu; the two islan ...
by the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
as a part of the Japanese people. On the other hand, many
Sakhalin Koreans Sakhalin Koreans are Russian citizens and residents of Korean descent living on Sakhalin Island, who can trace their roots to the immigrants from the Gyeongsang and Jeolla provinces of Korea during the late 1930s and early 1940s, the latter hal ...
who had held Japanese citizenship until the end of the war were left stateless by the Soviet occupation.


Language

The Japanese language is a
Japonic language Japonic or Japanese–Ryukyuan is a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
that is related to the
Ryukyuan languages The , also Lewchewan or Luchuan (), are the indigenous languages of the Ryukyu Islands The , also known as the or the , are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Geography of Taiwan, Taiwan: the Ōsumi Islands ...
and was treated as a
language isolate Language isolates are languages that cannot be classified into larger language families with any other languages. Korean language, Korean and Basque language, Basque are two of the most commonly cited language isolates, but there are many others. ...
in the past. The earliest attested form of the language,
Old Japanese is the oldest attested stage of the Japanese language, recorded in documents from the Nara period The of the history of Japan The first human inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago The Japanese archipelago (Japanese: 日本列島, ...
, dates to the 8th century.
Japanese phonology The phonology Phonology is a branch of that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any particular lan ...
is characterized by a relatively small number of , frequent
gemination In phonetics and phonology, gemination (), or consonant lengthening (from Latin 'doubling', itself from ''Gemini (constellation), gemini'' 'twins'), is an articulation of a consonant for a longer period of time than that of a singleton consonan ...

gemination
and a distinctive
pitch accent A pitch-accent language is a language that has word accents in which one syllable in a word or morpheme is more prominent than the others, but the accentuated syllable is indicated by a contrasting pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency ...
system. The modern Japanese language has a tripartite
writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communic ...
using
hiragana is a Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...

hiragana
,
katakana is a Japanese , one component of the along with , and in some cases the (known as ). The word ''katakana'' means "fragmentary kana", as the katakana characters are derived from components or fragments of more complex kanji. Katakana and hi ...
and
kanji are a set of logographic In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gest ...

kanji
. The language includes native Japanese words and a large number of words derived from the Chinese language. In Japan the adult literacy rate in the Japanese language exceeds 99%. Dozens of
Japanese dialects The dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') can refer to either of two distinctly different types of phenomena: * One usage refers to a of a that is a characteristic of a particu ...

Japanese dialects
are spoken in regions of Japan. For now, Japanese is classified as a member of the Japonic languages or as a language isolate with no known living relatives if Ryukyuan is counted as dialects.


Religion

Japanese religion has traditionally been
syncretic Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs and various schools of thought A school of thought, or intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a group of people who share common characteristics of opinion or outlook of a philosophy, Lis ...
in nature, combining elements of
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
and
Shinto Shinto () is a religion which originated in Japan. Classified as an East Asian religions, East Asian religion by Religious studies, scholars of religion, its practitioners often regard it as Japan's indigenous religion and as a nature religion. ...

Shinto
(
Shinbutsu-shūgō ''Shinbutsu-shūgō'' (, "syncretism of kami (often taken to mean " gods", though the concept is more involved than that) are the spirits, phenomena or "holy powers" that are venerated in the religion of Shinto Shinto (神道 ''Shintō''), ...
). Shinto, a
polytheistic Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of nature.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supernatura ...
religion with no book of religious canon, is Japan's native religion. Shinto was one of the traditional grounds for the right to the throne of the Japanese imperial family and was codified as the state religion in 1868 (
State Shinto was Imperial Japan's ideological use of the Japanese folk traditions of Shinto Shinto (神道 ''Shintō''), also yamatokotoba, termed ''kami-no-michi'', is a religion which originated in Japan. Classified as an East Asian religions, East Asi ...
), but was abolished by the
American occupation American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States ** Americans, citizens and nationals of the United States of America ** American ancestry, people who self-id ...
in 1945.
Mahayana Buddhism in Shishoin Temple (Tokyo). A unique feature of Mahāyāna is the belief that there are multiple Buddhas which are currently teaching the Dharma. Mahāyāna (; "Great Vehicle") is a term for a broad group of Buddhism, Buddhist traditions, text ...
came to Japan in the sixth century and evolved into many different sects. Today, the largest form of Buddhism among Japanese people is the
Jōdo Shinshū , also known as Shin Buddhism or True Pure Land Buddhism, is a school of Pure Land Buddhism. It was founded by the former Tendai is a Mahayana Buddhist school established in Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , al ...
sect founded by
Shinran ''Popular Buddhism in Japan: Shin Buddhist Religion & Culture'' by Esben Andreasen, pp. 13, 14, 15, 17. University of Hawaii Press 1998, was a Japanese Buddhist monk, who was born in Hino (now a part of Fushimi, Kyoto, Fushimi, Kyoto) at the turb ...

Shinran
. A large majority of Japanese people profess to believe in both Shinto and Buddhism. Japanese people's religion functions mostly as a foundation for
mythology Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the ca ...

mythology
,
tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious ...

tradition
s and neighborhood activities, rather than as the single source of moral guidelines for one's life. According to the annual statistical research on religion in 2018 by the Agency for Culture Affairs,
Government of Japan The is the central government of Japan. The Government of Japan consists of legislature, executive and judiciary branches and is accountable to the Emperor of Japan. The Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government, chief executive of t ...
, about two million or slightly 1.5% of Japan's population are
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
. A larger proportion of members of the
Japanese diaspora The Japanese diaspora and its individual members known as or as , comprise the Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Cente ...
practice
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
; about 60% of
Japanese Brazilians , , lead=yes are Brazilians, Brazilian citizens who are nationals or naturals of Japanese people, Japanese ancestry or Japanese immigrants living in Brazil. The first Japanese immigrants arrived in Brazil in 1908. Brazil is home to the largest Ja ...
and 90% of
Japanese Mexicans Japanese immigration to Mexico began in the late 19th century, to found coffee growing plantations in the state of Chiapas. Although this initiative failed, it was followed by greater immigration from 1900 to the beginning of World War II, although ...
are Catholic Church, Roman Catholics, while about 37% of Japanese Americans are Christians (33% Protestantism, Protestant and 4% Catholic Church, Catholic). Jainism is growing among Japanese people in Japan. More than 5,000 ethnic Japanese families in Japan have converted to Jainism in recent years.


Literature

Certain genres of writing originated in and are often associated with Japanese society. These include the haiku, Waka (poetry), tanka, and I Novel, although modern writers generally avoid these writing styles. Historically, many works have sought to capture or codify traditional Japanese cultural values and aesthetics. Some of the most famous of these include Murasaki Shikibu's ''The Tale of Genji'' (1021), about Heian period, Heian court culture; Miyamoto Musashi's ''The Book of Five Rings'' (1645), concerning military strategy; Matsuo Bashō's ''Oku no Hosomichi'' (1691), a Travel literature, travelogue; and Jun'ichirō Tanizaki's essay "In Praise of Shadows" (1933), which contrasts Eastern and Western cultures. Following the Black Ships, opening of Japan to the West in 1854, some works of this style were written in English by natives of Japan; they include ''Bushido: The Soul of Japan'' by Nitobe Inazō (1900), concerning ''samurai'' ethics, and ''The Book of Tea'' by Okakura Kakuzō (1906), which deals with the philosophical implications of the Japanese tea ceremony. Western observers have often attempted to evaluate Japanese society as well, to varying degrees of success; one of the most well-known and controversial works resulting from this is Ruth Benedict's ''The Chrysanthemum and the Sword'' (1946). Twentieth-century Japanese writers recorded changes in Japanese society through their works. Some of the most notable authors included Natsume Sōseki, Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, Osamu Dazai, Fumiko Enchi, Akiko Yosano, Yukio Mishima, and Ryōtarō Shiba. Popular contemporary authors such as Ryū Murakami, Haruki Murakami, and Banana Yoshimoto have been translated into many languages and enjoy international followings, and Yasunari Kawabata and Kenzaburō Ōe were awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Arts

Decorative arts in Japan date back to prehistoric times. Jōmon pottery includes examples with elaborate ornamentation. In the
Yayoi period #REDIRECT Yayoi period#REDIRECT Yayoi period The , started at the beginning of the Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in sever ...
, artisans produced mirrors, spears, and ceremonial bells known as ''dōtaku.'' Later burial mounds, or ''kofun,'' preserve characteristic clay figures known as ''haniwa,'' as well as wall paintings. Beginning in the
Nara period The of the history of Japan The first human inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago The Japanese archipelago (Japanese: 日本列島, ''Nihon rettō'') is a group of 6,852 islands that form the country of Japan , image_flag ...
, painting, Japanese calligraphy, calligraphy, and Japanese sculpture, sculpture flourished under strong Confucian and Buddhist influences from Japanese missions to Tang China, China. Among the architectural achievements of this period are the Hōryū-ji and the Yakushi-ji, two Buddhism, Buddhist temples in Nara Prefecture. After the cessation of official relations with the Tang dynasty in the ninth century, Japanese art and architecture gradually became less influenced by China. Extravagant art and clothing were commissioned by nobles to decorate their court, and although the aristocracy was quite limited in size and power, many of these pieces are still extant. After the Tōdai-ji was attacked and burned during the Genpei War, a special office of restoration was founded, and the Tōdai-ji became an important artistic center. The leading masters of the time were Unkei and Kaikei. Painting advanced in the Muromachi period in the form of ink wash painting under the influence of Zen Buddhism as practiced by such masters as Sesshū Tōyō. Zen Buddhist tenets were also elaborated into the tea ceremony during the Sengoku period. During the Edo period, the polychrome painting screens of the Kanō school were made influential thanks to their powerful patrons (including the Tokugawa clan, Tokugawas). Popular artists created ''ukiyo-e'', woodblock prints for sale to commoners in the flourishing cities. Pottery such as Imari ware was highly valued as far away as Europe. In theater, Noh is a traditional, spare dramatic form that developed in tandem with kyōgen farce. In stark contrast to the restrained refinement of noh, kabuki, an "explosion of color", use every possible stage trick for dramatic effect. Plays include sensational events such as suicides, and many such works were performed in both kabuki and bunraku puppet theaters. Since the Meiji Restoration, Japan has absorbed elements of Western culture and has given them a "Japanese" feel or modification into it. It's modern decorative, practical, and performing arts works span a spectrum ranging from the traditions of Japan to purely Western modes. Products of popular culture, including J-pop, Japanese rock, J-rock, manga and anime have found audiences and fans around the world.


Citizenship

Article 10 of the Constitution of Japan defines the term "Japanese" based upon Japanese nationality. The concept of "ethnic groups" in Japanese census statistics differs from the concept applied in many other countries. For example, the United Kingdom Census queries the respondent's "ethnic or racial background", regardless of nationality. The Japanese Statistics Bureau, however, asks only about nationality in the census. The
Government of Japan The is the central government of Japan. The Government of Japan consists of legislature, executive and judiciary branches and is accountable to the Emperor of Japan. The Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government, chief executive of t ...
regards all naturalized Japanese citizens and native-born Japanese nationals with a multi-ethnic background as Japanese. There is no distinction based on ethnicity. There's no official Ethnic groups of Japan, ethnicity census data. Because the census equates nationality with ethnicity, its figures erroneously assume that naturalized Japanese citizens and Japanese nationals with multi-ethnic backgrounds are ethnically Japanese. John Lie (professor), John Lie, Eiji Oguma, and other scholars problematize the widespread belief that Japan is ethnically homogeneous, arguing that it is more accurate to describe Japan as a multiethnic society, although such claims have long been rejected by conservative elements of Japanese society such as former Japanese Prime Minister Tarō Asō, who once described Japan as being a nation of "one race, one civilization, one language and one culture". There is an increase of hāfu (half Japanese) people, but the amount is relatively small. Studies from e.g. 2015 estimate that 1 in 30 children born in Japan are born to interracial couples.


Diaspora

The term is used to refer to Japanese people who emigrated from Japan and their descendants. Emigration from Japan was recorded as early as the 15th century to the Philippines and Borneo, and in the 16th and 17th centuries, thousands of traders from Japan also migrated to the Philippines and assimilated into the local population. However, migration of Japanese people did not become a mass phenomenon until the Meiji era, when Japanese people began to go to Canada, the United States, the Philippines, China, Brazil, and Peru. There was also significant emigration to the territories of the Empire of Japan during the colonial period, but most of these emigrants and settlers repatriated to Japan after the end of World War II in Asia. According to the Association of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad, there are about 2.5 million ''nikkeijin'' living in their adopted countries. The largest of these foreign communities are in the Brazilian states of São Paulo (state), São Paulo and Paraná (state), Paraná.IBGE. Resistência e Integração: 100 anos de Imigração Japonesa no Brasil ''apud'
Made in Japan. IBGE Traça o Perfil dos Imigrantes; 21 de junho de 2008
Accessed September 4, 2008.
There are also significant cohesive Japanese communities in the Philippines, East Malaysia, Peru, Buenos Aires, Córdoba (Argentina), Córdoba and Misiones in Argentina, the U.S. states of Hawaii, California, and Washington (state), Washington, and the Canada, Canadian cities of Vancouver and Toronto. Separately, the number of Japanese citizens living abroad is over one million according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


See also

* Ethnic groups of Japan * Ethnic issues in Japan * Foreign-born Japanese * Japantown * List of Japanese people * Nihonjinron * Demographics of Japan **
Ainu people The Ainu or the Aynu ( ain, アィヌ, , ; ja, アイヌ, ; russian: Áйны, ), also known as the in historical Japanese texts, are an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal ...
** Burakumin ** Dekasegi **
Ryukyuan people The , also Lewchewan or Loochooan, are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands ...
**
Yamato people The or the David Blake Willis and Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu''Transcultural Japan: At the Borderlands of Race, Gender and Identity,'' p. 272: "“Wajin,” which is written with Chinese characters that can also be read “Yamato no hito” (Yamat ...
, the dominant majority ** Hāfu, half Japanese people * Azumi people, an ancient group of peoples who inhabited parts of northern Kyushu * Emishi, a group of people who lived in the northeastern Tōhoku region of Japan * Kuzu, an ancient people of Japan believed to have lived along the Yoshino River * Japanese Americans


References


External links


CIA The World Fact Book 2006

The Association of Nikkei & Japanese Abroad

Discover Nikkei- Information on Japanese emigrants and their descendants







Japanese society and culture

Dekasegi and their issues living in Japan
(Japanese/Portuguese) {{DEFAULTSORT:Japanese people Japanese people,