Accepted Paper:

From DNA to myth: deciphering history of Japonesian based on genetic data and possible connection with Japanese myths  

Author:

Naruya Saitou (National Institute of Genetics)

Paper short abstract:

There were two types of migrants to the Japanese archipelago: ancient hunter-gatherers and recent agriculturists. Japanese myths suggested the existence of two different agriculturist populations in western Japan. We are now searching genetic remnants of these two types of people among modern Japanese.

Paper long abstract:

It is now established that there were two major types of migrants to Japanese Archipelago: ancient hunter-gatherers and recent agriculturists, who are symbolically called Jomon and Yayoi, respectively. Determination of human genome sequences provided us remarkable resolution on genetic relationships among individuals. We recently showed genetic similarity between Ainu people of Hokkaido and Ryukyu people in Okinawa through comparison of genome-wide SNP (single nucleotide polymorhism) data. This similarity probably goes back to their higher proportion of Jomon DNAs compared to mainland Japanese (Japanese Archipelago Human Population Genetics Consortium 2012, Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 57, pp. 787-795). Japanese mythical history such as Kojiki, however, suggested existence of two different agriculturist populations in western part of Japonesia during late Yayoi period; indigenous people distributed from Izumo to Yamato area and new migrants in Northern Kyushu. We are now searching genetic remnants of these two types of people among modern Japonesians by comparing SNP data of various geographical populations in Japonesia, alternative name for Japanese Archipelago proposed by novelist Shimao Toshio.

Panel P129
Evolution of human cultures: towards an integrated anthropology of modern humans (CLOSED)