Wednesday, October 10, 2007

About 130 million
Shinto, Buddhism, large secular groups
The Japanese people (日本人 Nihonjin, Nipponjin). The term "Japanese people" may also be used in some contexts to refer to a locus of ethnic groups including the Yamato people, Ainu people, and Ryukyuans.

Japanese people Culture

Main article: Japanese language Language

Main article: Religion in Japan Religion

Main article: Japanese literature Origins
Archaeological evidences indicates that Stone Age people lived in the Japanese Archipelago during the Paleolithic period between 33,000 and 21,000 years ago.

Paleolithic era
The world's first known pottery was developed by the Jōmon people in the Upper Paleolithic period, 14th millennium BCE. 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 Mosote (南溝手
Jōmon and Ainu people
Around 400-300 BCE, the Yayoi people began to enter the Japanese islands, intermingling with the Jōmon. Most modern scholars say that the Yayoi emigrated from the southern part of the Korean Peninsula to northern Kyūshū, though it has also been proposed that they came from southeastern China. 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.

Yayoi people
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 peoples have often been a subject of dispute, but it is now widely accepted that the Jōmon people were very similar to the modern Ainu of northern Japan, and lived in Japan since the time of the last glacial age. Han Chinese and Southeast Asian ethnic groups were sometimes proposed as the origin of the modern Japanese ethnic group. Recently, however, both Japanese and non-Japanese academics predominantly argue that the Japanese are descended from both the Yayoi, who emigrated from the Korean peninsula, and the long-established native Jōmon people, with whom the Yayoi intermarried. A clear consensus has not been reached.

See also: Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
During the Japanese colonial period of 1867 to 1945, the phrase "Japanese people" was used to refer not only to residents of the Japanese archipelago, but also to people from occupied territories who held Japanese citizenship, such as Taiwanese people and Korean people. The official term used to refer to ethnic Japanese during this period was "inland people" (内地人 naichijin

Japanese living abroad

Ethnic issues in Japan
Foreign-born Japanese
List of Japanese people
Demographics of Japan

  • Ainu people
    Ryukyuan people
    Yamato people