A report on Ainu people and Ryukyuan people

Ainu at a traditional marriage ceremony in Hokkaido.
Ainu at a traditional marriage ceremony in Hokkaido.
Haplogroup dispersal and migration routes into Japan.
Hokkaido Ainu clan leader.
The gusuku fortification are on the Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu UNESCO's list.
Ainu leader
Map of Okinawa Island, showing the Sanzan period polities.
Historical homeland and distribution of the Ainu people.
The castle town and Ryukyu Kingdom's capital Shuri Castle.
1843 illustration of Ainu
Five Ryukyuan men, Meiji period.
Photograph of Tatsujiro Kuzuno, a famous Ainu individual.
The kamekōbaka (Turtleback tomb) is the traditional Ryukyuan family tomb.
Sakhalin Ainu in 1904
A picture of Imekanu, right, with her niece Yukie Chiri, famous Ainu Japanese transcriber and translator of Ainu epic tales. (1922)
Three Ainu from Hokkaidō in traditional dress
Ainu man performing a traditional dance
An Ainu from Shiraoi, Hokkaido, c. 1930
"Ainu men" Department of Anthropology, Japanese exposition, 1904 World's Fair.
Map of pre-1945 distribution of Ainu languages and dialects
Woman playing a tonkori
Ainu ceremonial dress, British Museum
Ainu woman with mouth tattoos and live bear.
Bear hunting, 19th century
Ainu people, c. 1840
An Ainu woman from Hokkaido, c. 1930
Ainu house in Hokkaido
Ainu traditional house. Ainu: "cise".
A traditional Ainu marriage ceremony
Chishima Ainu working
Painting of the Ainu iyomante, bear spirit sending ceremony in Hokkaido (1875)
Ainu traditional ceremony, c. 1930
National Ainu Museum interior
Ainu cultural promotion centre and museum, in Sapporo (Sapporo Pirka Kotan)
The Oki Dub Ainu Band, led by the Ainu Japanese musician Oki, in Germany in 2007
Ainu people in front of a traditional building in Shiraoi, Hokkaido.
Karafuto (Sakhalin) Ainu family behind their house in 1912.
Historical extent of the Ainu
Ainu houses (from Popular Science Monthly Volume 33, 1888).
Plan of an Ainu house.
The family would gather around the fireplace.
Interior of the house of Ainu - Saru River basin.

The Ryukyuans differ strongly from the Ainu people, which, according to the authors, is a strong evidence for the heterogeneity of the Jōmon period population.

- Ryukyuan people

Y DNA haplogroup D M55 is found throughout the Japanese Archipelago, but with very high frequencies among the Ainu of Hokkaidō in the far north, and to a lesser extent among the Ryukyuans in the Ryukyu Islands of the far south.

- Ainu people
Ainu at a traditional marriage ceremony in Hokkaido.

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Yamato-no-Takeru, prince of the Yamato dynasty.

Yamato people

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Applied to the Imperial House of Japan or "Yamato Court" that existed in Japan in the 4th century; further, it was originally the name of the region where the Yamato people first settled in Yamato Province (modern-day Nara Prefecture).

Applied to the Imperial House of Japan or "Yamato Court" that existed in Japan in the 4th century; further, it was originally the name of the region where the Yamato people first settled in Yamato Province (modern-day Nara Prefecture).

Yamato-no-Takeru, prince of the Yamato dynasty.
Proposed population migration routes into Japan, based on haplogroups.
Migration routes into Japan during the Jōmon period.

The term came to be used around the late 19th century to distinguish the settlers of mainland Japan from minority ethnic groups inhabiting the peripheral areas of the then Japanese Empire, including the Ainu, Emishi, Ryukyuans, Nivkh, Oroks, as well as Austronesians, Chinese, Koreans, and Micronesian peoples who were incorporated into the Empire of Japan in the early 20th century.

Japanese people

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Ethnic group that is native to the Japanese archipelago and modern country of Japan, where they constitute 98.1% of the country’s population.

Ethnic group that is native to the Japanese archipelago and modern country of Japan, where they constitute 98.1% of the country’s population.

Shakōki-dogū (遮光器土偶) (1000–400 BC), "goggle-eyed type" figurine. Tokyo National Museum.
Genetic structure of present-day and ancient Eurasian and Ikawazu Jomon.
Location of Imperial Japan
A Shinto festival in Miki, Hyogo
Hindu God Ganesha in a Buddhist Shrine in Japan
Bisque doll of Momotarō,
a character from Japanese literature and folklore
The print Red Fuji from Katsushika Hokusai's series, Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
The Japantown Peace Plaza during the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Depending on the context, the term ethnic Japanese (日本民族) may be limited or not to mainland Japanese people, specifically the Yamato (as opposed to Ryukyuan and Ainu people).

Reconstruction of the Sannai-Maruyama Site in the Aomori Prefecture. The site shares cultural similarities with settlements of Northeast Asia and the Korean Peninsula, as well as with later Japanese culture, pointing to continuity between ancient and modern Japanese culture.

Jōmon period

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Time in Japanese prehistory, traditionally dated between c. undefined 14,000–300 BCE, during which Japan was inhabited by a diverse hunter-gatherer and early agriculturalist population united through a common Jōmon culture, which reached a considerable degree of sedentism and cultural complexity.

Time in Japanese prehistory, traditionally dated between c. undefined 14,000–300 BCE, during which Japan was inhabited by a diverse hunter-gatherer and early agriculturalist population united through a common Jōmon culture, which reached a considerable degree of sedentism and cultural complexity.

Reconstruction of the Sannai-Maruyama Site in the Aomori Prefecture. The site shares cultural similarities with settlements of Northeast Asia and the Korean Peninsula, as well as with later Japanese culture, pointing to continuity between ancient and modern Japanese culture.
Incipient Jōmon pottery (14th–8th millennium BCE) Tokyo National Museum, Japan
Jōmon pottery in the Yamanashi museum.
Spray style Jōmon pottery
The Japanese archipelago, during the last glaciation in about 20,000BC.
Azuki bean cultivation was common in southern Jōmon period Japan and also in southern China and Bhutan.
Jōmon clay mask, bearing similarities to clay masks found in the Amur region.
The Magatama is a famous jewelry from Jōmon period Japan, and was also found in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.
Reconstruction of a Jōmon period houses in the Aomori Prefecture.
Jōmon period clay figure from the Yamanashi Prefecture.
Reconstruction of Yayoi period houses in Kyushu.
Middle Jomon vessel
Forensic reconstruction from a local Niigata Jōmon sample.
Late Jomon clay statue, Kazahari I, Aomori Prefecture, 1500–1000 BCE.
Late Jomon clay head, Shidanai, Iwate Prefecture, 1500–1000 BCE.
A Middle Jomon jar. 2000 BCE.
Final Jomon jar, Kamegaoka style.
Clay statue, late Jomon period (1000–400 BCE), Tokyo National Museum
Reconstruction of a Yayoi period house in Kyushu.

The relationship of Jōmon people to the modern Japanese (Yamato people), Ryukyuans, and Ainu is not well clarified.

Migration route of haplogroup D

Haplogroup D-M55

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Y-chromosome haplogroup.

Y-chromosome haplogroup.

Migration route of haplogroup D
Migration route of Y-DNA haplogroups in East Asia

It has been found in fourteen of a sample of sixteen or 87.5% of a sample of Ainu males in one study published in 2004 and in three of a sample of four or 75% of a sample of Ainu males in another study published in 2005 in which some individuals from the 2004 study may have been retested.

D1a2a (M64.1/Page44.1, M55)   Japan(Yamato people、Ryukyuan people、Ainu people)

East Asian people

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East Asian people (East Asians) are the people from East Asia, which consists of China, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea.

East Asian people (East Asians) are the people from East Asia, which consists of China, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea.

Other ethnic groups of East Asia include: the Ainu, Bai, Hui, Manchus, Mongols and other Mongolic peoples, Ryukyuan, Tibetans, Uyghurs, Yakuts and Zhuang.

Flag of the Kariyushi Club, a political party that seeks the independence of the Ryukyu Islands

Ryukyu independence movement

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Political movement advocating for the independence of the Ryukyu Islands (commonly referred to as Okinawa after the largest island) from Japan.

Political movement advocating for the independence of the Ryukyu Islands (commonly referred to as Okinawa after the largest island) from Japan.

Flag of the Kariyushi Club, a political party that seeks the independence of the Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Kingdom before Japan's annexation
Map of the Ryukyuan languages.
A flag created by USCAR to represent Ryukyu
Map showing the territory covered by military bases of the United States in Okinawa
Headquarters of the Kariyushi Club

Some Ryukyuan people felt, as the Allied Occupation (USMGRI 1945–1950) began, that the Ryukyus should eventually become an independent state instead of being returned to Japan.

During the Meiji period there was a significant reimagining of the histories of Ryukyu and of Ezo, which was annexed at the same time, and an insistence that the non-Japonic Ainu of Hokkaidō and the Japonic Ryukyuan people were Japanese, both racially/ethnically and linguistically/culturally, going back many centuries, despite the evidence they were a significantly different group of people.