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Ancient genomics reveals tripartite origins of Japanese populations


Eldorado
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Prehistoric Japan underwent rapid transformations in the past 3000 years, first from foraging to wet rice farming and then to state formation. A long-standing hypothesis posits that mainland Japanese populations derive dual ancestry from indigenous Jomon hunter-gatherer-fishers and succeeding Yayoi farmers. However, the genomic impact of agricultural migration and subsequent sociocultural changes remains unclear. We report 12 ancient Japanese genomes from pre- and postfarming periods.

Our analysis finds that the Jomon maintained a small effective population size of ~1000 over several millennia, with a deep divergence from continental populations dated to 20,000 to 15,000 years ago, a period that saw the insularization of Japan through rising sea levels. Rice cultivation was introduced by people with Northeast Asian ancestry.

Unexpectedly, we identify a later influx of East Asian ancestry during the imperial Kofun period. These three ancestral components continue to characterize present-day populations, supporting a tripartite model of Japanese genomic origins.

Science Advances

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6 minutes ago, Eldorado said:

Unexpectedly, we identify a later influx of East Asian ancestry during the imperial Kofun period. These three ancestral components continue to characterize present-day populations, supporting a tripartite model of Japanese genomic origins.

From the Korean Peninsula, a connection they tried to erase for nearly a century. 

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In a Tokyo museum, I saw some artifacts that  if I remember correctly were Jomon.  Among everything else, there were some bead-like objects that were about the size and shape of a cashew nut.   I suggested to my guide they looked a bit like  animal claws and wondered if that was the inspiration for the shape.  I was immediately told emphatically no.  At the time I wondered why that would be so out of line for a hunting people, but let it drop.  

I can accept being wrong, but the idea seemed to really put the museum, guide off and I wondered why.  Did I step over a cultural line and become rude?

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