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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Susanoo is also quoted as saying


VIEWS

OF JAPANESE ETHNOLOGISTS

It may well be supposed that the problem of their nation's origin has occupied much attention among the Japanese, and that their ethnologists have arrived at more or less definite conclusions. The outlines of their ideas are that one of the great waves of emigration which, in a remote age, emerged from the cradle of the human race in central Asia, made its way eastward with a constantly expanding front, and, sweeping up the Tarim basin, emerged in the region of the Yellow River and in Manchuria. These wanderers, being an agricultural, not a maritime, race, did not contribute much to the peopling of the oversea islands of Japan. But in a later--or an earlier--era, another exodus took place from the interior of Asia. It turned in a southerly direction through India, and coasting along the southern seaboard, reached the southeastern region of China; whence, using as stepping-stones the chain of islands that festoon eastern Asia, it made its way ultimately to Korea and Japan.

Anterior to both of these movements another race, the neolithic Yemishi of the shell-heaps, had pushed down from the northeastern regions of Korea or from the Amur valley, and peopled the northern half of Japan. The Korean peninsula, known in Chinese records as Han, appears in the form of three kingdoms at the earliest date of its historical mention: they were Sin-Han and Pyon-Han on the east and Ma-Han on the West.

The northeastern portion, from the present Won-san to Vladivostok, bore the name of Yoso, which is supposed to have been the original of Yezo, the Yoso region thus constituting the cradle of the Yemishi race.

Japanese ethnologists interpret the ancient annals as pointing to very close intercourse between Japan and Korea in early days,* and regard this as confirming the theory stated above as to the provenance of the Yamato race. Connexion with the colonists of northern China was soon established via Manchuria, and this fact may account for some of the similarities between the civilization as well as the legends of the Yamato and those of Europe, since there is evidence that the Greeks and Romans had some hazy knowledge of China, and that the Chinese had a similarly vague knowledge of the Roman Empire,** possibly through commercial relations in the second century B.C.

*The annals state of Princes Mikeno and Inahi, elder brothers of Prince Iware (afterwards Jimmu Tenno). that the former "crossed over to the Eternal Land" (Tokoyo-no-kuni) and the latter went down to the sea plain, it being his deceased mother's land. Japanese archaeologists identify "mother's land" as Shiragi in Korea, and Tokoyo-no-kuni as the western country where the sun sets, namely China. They further point out that Susanoo with his son, Itakeru, went to Shiragi and lived at Soshi-mori, for which reason Susanoo's posthumous title was Gozu Tenno, gozu being the Japanese equivalent for the Korean soshi-mori (ox head). Susanoo is also quoted as saying, "there are gold and silver in Koma and it were well that there should be a floating treasury;"* so he built a vessel of pine and camphor-wood to export these treasures to Japan. The "Korea" here spoken of is the present Kimhai in Kyongsan-do. It is further recorded that Susanoo lived for a time at Kumanari-mine, which is the present Kongju. Again, a Japanese book, compiled in the tenth century A.D., enumerates six shrines in the province of Izumo which were called Kara-kuni Itate Jinja, or shrine of Itakeru of Korea. A much abler work, Izuma Fudoki, speaks of Cape Kitsuki in Izumo as a place where cotton-stuffs were imported from Shiragi by Omitsu, son of Susanoo. There are other evidences to the same effect, and taken in conjunction with the remarkable similarity of the Korean and Japanese languages, these facts are held to warrant the conclusion that the most important element of the Japanese nation came via Korea, its Far Eastern colony being the ultima thule of its long wanderings from central Asia.


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