The Info List - Japanese People

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(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

3,456 note


Japanese , Portuguese , English


Predominantly Mahayana
( Buddhism
in Japan
) and Shinto
Minority Japanese new religions , Christianity
, other religions

------------------------- ^ note: The population of naturalized Japanese people
Japanese people
and their descendants is unknown. Only the number of the permanent residents with Japanese nationality is shown.

JAPANESE PEOPLE (Japanese : 日本人, Hepburn : _Nihonjin_) are a nation and ethnic group native to Japan
. Japanese people
Japanese people
make up 98.5% of the total population of their country. 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 _ Nikkeijin _ (日系人), the Japanese diaspora. The term _ethnic Japanese_ may also be used in some contexts to refer to particular ethnic groups, including the Yamato (the dominant ethnic group, comprising over 120 million), Ainu , and Ryukyuan people .


* 1 Language * 2 Religion * 3 Literature * 4 Arts

* 5 Theories of origins

* 5.1 Origin of Jōmon and Yayoi

* 6 History

* 6.1 Paleolithic
era * 6.2 Jōmon people * 6.3 Yayoi people

* 7 Genetics

* 7.1 Y-chromosome DNA * 7.2 Mitochondrial DNA * 7.3 Single-nucleotide polymorphism

* 8 Data tables * 9 Colonialism * 10 Citizenship
* 11 Diaspora * 12 See also * 13 References * 14 External links


Main article: Japanese language
Japanese language

The Japanese language
Japanese language
is a Japonic language that in the past was treated as a language isolate ; it is related to the Ryukyuan languages . The Japanese language
Japanese language
has a tripartite writing system using Hiragana , Katakana , and Kanji . Domestic Japanese people
Japanese people
use primarily Japanese for daily interaction. The adult literacy rate in Japan
exceeds 99%.


Main article: Religion in Japan
A Shinto
festival in Hyogo Prefecture

Japanese religion has traditionally been syncretic in nature, combining elements of Buddhism
and Shinto
( Shinbutsu-shūgō ). Shinto, a polytheistic 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
), but was abolished by the American occupation in 1945. Mahayana
came to Japan
in the sixth century and evolved into many different sects. Today, the largest form of Buddhism
among Japanese people
Japanese people
is the Jōdo Shinshū sect founded by Shinran .

Most Japanese people
Japanese people
(84% to 96%) profess to believe in both Shinto
and Buddhism. Japanese people's religion functions mostly as a foundation for mythology , traditions , and neighborhood activities, rather than as the single source of moral guidelines for one's life.

in Japan
is among the nation's minority religions. Just under 2%, or about 2.5 million, of Japan's population are Christians. Many Japanese practice Christianity
in the diaspora in Brazil
, which is home to the largest Japanese population outside Japan. About 60% of Japanese Brazilians are Roman Catholics , while 90% of Japanese Mexicans are Roman Catholic, and about 37% of Japanese Americans are Christians
(33% are Protestant
and 4% Catholic


Main article: Japanese literature Bisque doll of Momotarō , a character from Japanese literature and folklore

Certain genres of writing originated in and are often associated with Japanese society. These include the haiku , 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
Murasaki Shikibu
's _ The Tale of Genji _ (1021), about Heian court culture; Miyamoto Musashi 's _ The Book of Five Rings _ (1645), concerning military strategy; Matsuo Bashō 's _Oku no Hosomichi _ (1691), a travelogue ; and Jun\'ichirō Tanizaki 's essay " In Praise of Shadows " (1933), which contrasts Eastern and Western cultures.

Following the 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 Kakuzo (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 , Yasunari Kawabata , Fumiko Enchi , Yukio Mishima , and Ryōtarō Shiba . In contemporary Japan, popular authors such as Ryū Murakami , Haruki Murakami , and Banana Yoshimoto are highly regarded.


Main articles: Japanese art and Japanese architecture _ The print Red Fuji _ from Katsushika Hokusai
's series, _Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji _

Decorative arts in Japan
date back to prehistoric times. Jōmon pottery includes examples with elaborate ornamentation. In the Yayoi period , artisans produced mirrors, spears, and ceremonial bells known as _dōtaku ._ Later burial mounds, or _kofun ,_ preserve characteristic clay _haniwa ,_ as well as wall paintings.

Beginning in the Nara period , painting, calligraphy , and sculpture flourished under strong Confucian and Buddhist influences from China
. Among the architectural achievements of this period are the Hōryū-ji and the Yakushi-ji , two Buddhist temples in Nara Prefecture . After the cessation of official relations with the Tang dynasty
Tang dynasty
in the ninth century, Japanese art and architecture gradually became less influenced by China. Extravagant art and clothing was 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 and 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
Sengoku period
. During the Edo period , the polychrome painting screens of the Kanō school were made influential thanks to their powerful patrons (including the 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", uses 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 gave it a "Japanese" feel or modification into it. Its 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 , J-rock , manga and anime have found audiences and fans around the world.


An Ainu man, circa 1930

Arai Hakuseki , who knew in the 18th century that there were stone tools in Japan, suggested that there was Shukushin in ancient Japan. After him, Philipp Franz von Siebold claimed that indigenous Japanese were Ainu people . Iha Fuyū suggested that Japanese and Ryukyuan people have the same ethnic origin, based on his 1906 research of the Ryukyuan languages . In the Taishō period , Torii Ryūzō claimed that Yamato people used Yayoi pottery and Ainu used Jōmon pottery. _ A Ryukyuan noro _ priestess, circa 1935

A common origin of Japanese has been proposed by a number of scholars since Arai Hakuseki first brought up the theory and Fujii Sadamoto, a pioneer of modern archeology in Japan, also treated the issue in 1781. But after the end of World War II
World War II
, Kotondo Hasebe and Hisashi Suzuki claimed that the origin of Japanese people
Japanese people
was not the newcomers in the Yayoi period (300 BCE – 300 CE) but the people in the Jōmon period .

However, Kazuro Hanihara announced a new racial admixture theory in 1984. Hanihara also announced the theory "dual structure model" in English in 1991. According to Hanihara, modern Japanese lineages began with Jōmon people, who moved into the Japanese archipelago during Paleolithic
times from their homeland in southeast Asia
. Hanihara believed that there was a second wave of immigrants , from northeast Asia
to Japan
from the Yayoi period. Following a population expansion in Neolithic
times, these newcomers then found their way to the Japanese archipelago sometime during the Yayoi period. As a result, miscegenation was common in the island regions of Kyūshū , Shikoku , and Honshū , but did not prevail in the outlying islands of Okinawa
and Hokkaidō , and the Ryukyuan and Ainu people continued to dominate there. Mark J. Hudson claimed that the main ethnic image of Japanese people
Japanese people
was biologically and linguistically formed from 400 BCE to 1,200 CE.

On the other hand, research in October 2009 by the National Museum of Nature and Science _et al._ concluded that the Minatogawa Man , who was found in Okinawa
and was regarded as evidence that Jōmon people came to Japan
via the southern route, had a slender face unlike the Jōmon. Hiroto Takamiya of the Sapporo University suggested that the people of Kyushu
immigrated to Okinawa
between the 10th and 12th centuries CE.

A 2011 study by Sean Lee and Toshikazu Hasegawa reported that a common origin of Japonic languages had originated around 2,182 years before present.

A study conducted in 2017 by Ulsan University in Korea presented an evidence that the genetic origin of Koreans
is closer to that of southeast Asians. This was additionally supported by Japanese research conducted in 1999 that supported the theory that the origin of the Yayoi people was in southern China
near the Yangtze river. This study further supports the already accepted admixture theory between the Jomon and Yayoi populations.


Glacier cover in Japan
at the height of the last glaciation about 20,000 years ago

Currently, the most well-regarded theory is that present-day Japanese are descendants of both the indigenous Jōmon people and the immigrant Yayoi people. The origins of the Jōmon and Yayoi people have often been a subject of dispute, and a recent Japanese publisher has divided the potential routes of the people living on the Japanese archipelago as follows:

* Aboriginals that have been living in Japan
for more than 10,000 years. (Without geographic distinction, which means, the group of people living in islands from Hokkaido
to Okinawa
may all be considered to be Aboriginals in this case.) * Immigrants from the northern route (北方ルート in Japanese) including the people from the Korean Peninsula , Mainland China
and Sakhalin Island . * Immigrants from the southern route (南方ルート in Japanese) including the people from the Pacific Islands , Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
, and in some context, India

However, a clear consensus has not been reached.


Main article: History of Japan


Archaeological evidence indicates that Stone Age
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
by at least one land bridge, and nomadic hunter-gatherers crossed to Japan from Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
, East Asia
, Siberia
, and possibly Kamchatka
. Flint tools and bony implements of this era have been excavated in Japan.


_ Shakōki-dogū_ (遮光器土偶) (1000–400 BC), "goggle-eyed type" figurine. Tokyo National Museum .

Some of the world's oldest known pottery pieces were developed by the Jōmon people in the Upper Paleolithic
period, 14th millennium BC. The name, "Jōmon" (縄文 _Jōmon_), which means "cord-impressed pattern", comes from the characteristic markings found on the pottery. The Jōmon people were Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, though at least one middle to late Jōmon site (Minami Mizote (南溝手), ca. 1200–1000 BC) had a primitive rice -growing agriculture . They relied primarily on fish for protein. It is believed that the Jōmon had very likely migrated from South Asia
or Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
and became the Ainu of today. Research suggests that the Ainu retain a certain degree of uniqueness in their genetic make-up, while having some affinities with other regional populations in Japan
as well as the Nivkhs of the Russian Far East .

Mark J. Hudson of Nishikyushu University posits that Japan
was settled by a Proto- Mongoloid population in the Pleistocene
who became the Jōmon, and that their features can be seen in the Ainu and Ryukyuan people . The Jomon share some physical characteristics, such as relatively abundant body hair , with Caucasians , but anthropological genetics shows them to derive from a separate genetic lineage from that of Europeans.

Anthropologist Joseph Powell of the University of New Mexico
said that the Ainu descend from the Jōmon people who are an East Asian population with "closest biological affinity with south-east Asians rather than western Eurasian peoples". Turner found remains of Jōmon people of Japan
to belong to Sundadont pattern similar with the Southern Mongoloid living populations of Taiwanese aborigines, Filipinos, Indonesians, Thais, Borneans, Laotians, and Malaysians.


Around 400–300 BC, the Yayoi people began to enter the Japanese islands, intermingling with the Jōmon. The Yayoi brought wet-rice farming and advanced bronze and iron technology to Japan. Although the islands were already abundant with resources for hunting and dry-rice farming, Yayoi farmers created more productive wet-rice paddy field systems. This allowed the communities to support larger populations and spread over time, in turn becoming the basis for more advanced institutions and heralding the new civilization of the succeeding Kofun
period .

The estimated population in the late Jōmon period was about one hundred thousand, compared to about three million by the Nara period . 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.


_ Hideko Hosokawa's family in traditional folk dress, kimono _, in 1957 A Japanese family, showing a range of ages


It has been noted since as early as 1995 that the distribution of Y-chromosome DNA markers among Japanese males differs significantly from the males of neighboring populations: "The Y Alu polymorphic (YAP) element is present in 42% of the Japanese and absent in the Taiwanese, confirming the irregular distribution of this polymorphism in Asia."

In 1999, a study by Tatiana M. Karafet _et al._ aimed at identifying the nearest Old World relatives of indigenous American Y-DNA lineages included a sample of 118 Japanese, of whom 55 or 47% were found to belong to DE-YAP(xE-SRY4064) , 54 or 46% were found to belong to K-M9(xTat, SRY9138, P-DYS257) , 6 or 5.1% were found to belong to C-RPS4Y , 2 or 1.7% were found to belong to P-DYS257 , and 1 or 0.8% were found to belong to BT-SRY10831.1(xC-RPS4Y, DE-YAP, K-M9) .

A comprehensive study of worldwide Y-DNA diversity (Underhill _et al._ 2000) included a sample of 23 males from Japan, of whom eight (35%) belonged to haplogroup D-M174 (including one D-M15, one D-M55(xM116.2), five D-M125, and one D-M151), six (26%) belonged to O-M175 (xM122, M119, M95), five (22%) belonged to O-M122 (including two O-M122(xM7, M164, M159, M121, M134), two O-M134(xM117/M133), and one O-M117/M133(xM162)), three (13%) belonged to C-M130 (including one C-M130(xM38, M48/M77/M86, M93, M8/M105/M131), one C-M93, and one C-M8/M105/M131), and one (4.3%) belonged to N-M128 .

Among 259 males from Japan
(70 from Tokushima , 61 from Shizuoka , 53 from Kyūshū , 45 from Okinawa
, 26 from Aomori , and 4 Ainus ) whose Y-DNA has been examined in a 2005 study by Michael F. Hammer, ninety (34.7%) belong to haplogroup D-M55 , eighty-two (31.7%) belong to haplogroup O-P31 (including 22% O-47z, 7.7% O-M176(x47z), and 1.9% O-M95(xM111) ), fifty-two (20.1%) belong to haplogroup O-M122 , fourteen (5.4%) belong to haplogroup C-M8 , ten (3.9%) belong to haplogroup NO-M214(xO-M175) (including 2.3% NO-M214(xO-M175, N-LLY22g), 1.2% haplogroup N-LLY22g(xM128, P43, M178) , and 0.4% haplogroup N-M178 ), and eight (3.1%) belong to haplogroup C-M217 (including 1.9% haplogroup C-M217(xM86) and 1.2% haplogroup C-M86 ). The patrilines belonging to D-P37.1 were found in all the Japanese samples, but were more frequently found in the Ainu (75.0%) and Okinawa
(55.6%) samples and less frequently found in the Tokushima (25.7%) and Kyūshū samples (26.4%). Haplogroups O-M175 and C-M8 were not found in the small Ainu sample of four individuals, and C-M217 was not found in the Okinawa
sample of 45 individuals. Haplogroup N was detected in samples of Japanese from Aomori (2/26 N-LLY22g(xM128, P43, M178)), Shizuoka (1/61 N-LLY22g(xM128, P43, M178)), and Tokushima (1/70 N-M178), but was not found in the Kyūshū, Okinawa, or Ainu samples. This study, and others, report that Y-chromosome patrilines crossed from the Asian mainland into the Japanese archipelago, and continue to make up a large proportion of the Japanese male lineage. If focusing haplogroup O-P31 in those researches, the patrilines derived from its subclade O-SRY465 are frequently found in both Japanese (mean 32%, with frequency in various samples ranging from 26% to 36% ) and Koreans
(mean 30%, with frequency in various samples ranging from 19% to 40% ). According to the research, these patrilines have undergone extensive genetic admixture with the Jōmon period populations previously established in Japan.

A 2007 study by Nonaka _et al._ reported that among a total of 263 healthy unrelated Japanese male individuals born in 40 of the 47 prefectures of Japan
, but especially Tokyo (_n_=51), Chiba (_n_=45), Kanagawa (_n_=14), Saitama (_n_=13), Shizuoka (_n_=12), and Nagano (_n_=11), the frequencies of the D2, O2b, and O3 lineages were 38.8%, 33.5%, and 16.7%, respectively, which constituted approximately 90% of the Japanese population. Haplogroup diversity for the binary polymorphisms was calculated to be 86.3%.

Poznik _et al._ (2016) have reported that the males in the JPT (Japanese in Tokyo, Japan) sample of the 1000 Genomes Project are 20/56 = 36% D2-M179 , 18/56 = 32% O2b-M176 , 10/56 = 18% O3-M122 , 4/56 = 7.1% C1a1-M8 , 2/56 = 3.6% O2a-K18 , and 2/56 = 3.6% C2-M217 .

In a project approved by the Ethics Committee of Tokai University School of Medicine, Ochiai _et al._ (2016) have reported finding D-M174 (rs2032602 T>C) in 24/59 (40.7%), O-M268 (rs13447443 A>G) in 21/59 (35.6%), C-M130 (rs35284970 C>T) in 8/59 (13.6%), O-P198 (rs17269816 T>C) in 4/59 (6.8%), N-M231 (rs9341278 G>A) in 1/59 (1.7%), and O-P186 (xM268, P198) (rs16981290 C>A, rs13447443 A, rs17269816 T) in 1/59 (1.7%) of a sample obtained through buccal swabs from Japanese male volunteers (_n_ = 59) who had given informed consent to participate in the study.


According to an analysis of the 1000 Genomes Project 's sample of Japanese collected in the Tokyo metropolitan area, the mtDNA haplogroups found among modern Japanese include D (42/118 = 35.6%, including 39/118 = 33.1% D4 and 3/118 = 2.5% D5), B (16/118 = 13.6%, including 11/118 = 9.3% B4 and 5/118 = 4.2% B5), M7 (12/118 = 10.2%), G (12/118 = 10.2%), N9 (10/118 = 8.5%), F (9/118 = 7.6%), A (8/118 = 6.8%), Z (4/118 = 3.4%), M9 (3/118 = 2.5%), and M8 (2/118 = 1.7%).


A 2011 SNP consortium study done by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Max Planck Society consisting of 1719 DNA samples determined that Koreans
and Japanese clustered near to each other, confirming the findings of an earlier study that Koreans
and Japanese are related. However, the Japanese were found to be genetically closer to South Asian populations as evident by a genetic position that is significantly closer towards South Asian populations on the principal component analysis (PCA) chart. Some Japanese individuals are also genetically closer to Southeast Asian and Melanesian populations when compared to other East Asians such as Koreans
and Han Chinese, indicating possible genetic interactions between Japanese and these populations.

A 2008 study about genome-wide SNPs of East Asians by Chao Tian _et al._ reported that Japanese, Koreans
and Han Chinese are genetically distinguishable from southeast Asians, and that the Japanese are related to Koreans, who are more closely related to Han Chinese. However, the Japanese are relatively genetically distant from Han Chinese, compared to Koreans.



Total number tested DIA+

No. %


by Lee, Present series 117 17 14.5


by Layrisse and Arends, (1956) 100 5 5.0


by Layrisse and Arends, (1956) 65 8 12.31

by Lewis et al., (1956) 77 6 7.79

by Ueno and Murakata, (1957) 153 12 7.84

by Lewis et al., (1958) 145 10 6.89

by Iseki et al., (1958) 500 16 3.20

Source: Table 12, Page 23, Samuel Y. Lee (1965)

Masatoshi Nei\'s standard genetic distances (lower diagonal matrix ) and modified Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza\'s distances (above diagonal matrix ) for the four populations


Hondo -Japanese

0.00354 0.00747 0.00217

Korean 0.00404

0.01155 0.00707

Ainu 0.00808 0.01043


Ryukyuan 0.00336 0.00899 0.00696

Source: Table 1, Page 438, Keiichi Omoto " colspan="7">aKorean _versus_ Japanese, p

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