Japanese origins

18 Aug 2014

At http://heritageofjapan.wordpress.com there are several interesting new postings, a flurry of activity after a long quiet period. One, 'Study reveals DNA link between ancient Peruvians and Japanese' is a story that surfaced a few months ago - but interesting from a Japanese perspective. Another, 'Ram's Horn motif on painted tomb murals of western Japan points to the identity of the immigrant groups' claims that Turkic tribes reached Japan and Korea, from central Asia, in the past. The motif first appears during the Kofun Period.

There is also a post about a 6th century AD pyramid at Asuka and another, 'Bold new DNA 2014 study proposes when and  where the three major populations of Africans, Europeans and East Asians diverged' and suggests why the Ainu look like European in features (having long beards, unlike your normal Japanese). The point of divergence between East Asians and Europeans is placed around 40,000 years ago - and this is when the Ainu are said to have moved eastwards from somewhere in what is now Siberia. Others migrated west into Europe - but what drove the migrations is left unsaid. The study appears in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution and the post provides excerpts from it. The study seems to be in sync with the possibility most of Siberia (especially in the east) was not subject to an ice sheet (which affected mainly NE N America and NW Europe) allowing long range migrations to take place in response to catastrophic episodes around that time (somewhere between 40 and 30,000 years ago). There was major of episode of mammal die-off at this time, from Siberia to Australia.