Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Ethnic policy in ancient Japan

For all the modernity-hate and past-worship in the Dark Enlightenment Community, there are very few historians around. Interest in history is also pretty low considering the circumstances. Sure there is a lot of interest and good scholarship in the immediate past, i.e. the evolution of the Cathedral, but little interest to ancient or foreign history.

That’s a shame, because you can learn a lot from history. Perhaps it’s because of HBD, the cornerstone of all our ideas. We are lately finding out that people have evolved faster than we thought, so the idea that we are different from our ancestors is spreading a while. That’s mostly true, but don’t believe the hype. We haven’t evolved that much. Human power dynamics aren’t based in gut adaptations, or even in the distribution of altruism genes. Power dynamics are wired deep, deep into our lizard brains, or at the very least monkey brains. Check out this video and tell me it’s that different from our world:

One thing that liberals often say to us (like that Scott Alexander dude) is: what’s so wrong about modernity? We got antibiotics and stuff, right? Well feminism or homo liberation can be dismissed as a matter of taste, so what’s the big deal? Well surely the biggest deal is ethnic policy. The Cathedral is hell bent on bringing every single tribal people on earth into the West, give them perks and let them run wild without even trying to make them behave. See the Pakistani grooming scandal:

the victims are not with their mothers, they are held by social services in local authority ‘care’ homes. These ‘care’ homes operate as free brothels for the Pakistani rape gangs. The girls are under the control of the authorities, mostly white women social workers, who in some cases actually forced them back into the hands of their abusers and called them racist when they complained.

This just didn’t happen before Progressivism. It was understood that multiculturalism was a bad idea, different peoples should not be mixed around. And you don’t favor savages over civilized people.

Well what does history tell us? Let me tell you a funny story.

Japanese history is fascinating because of how short it is. The Japanese imperial house is the oldest of the world, dating to around 500 AD. But the funny thing is that the imperial house was the first historical polity to arise in Japan ever. That’s right, Japanese history starts after the Roman Empire fell. Actually the first evidences of agriculture only date to around 300 BC, i.e. after Alexander the Great. For some reason farmers only came to Japan 7000 years after they began farming next door in China. 7000 years to finally round up the courage to cross the Tsushima strait.

Before farming, Japan had the Jomon culture, a fairly sophisticated hunter-gatherer culture known for their pottery and semi-sedentary lifestyle. Oldest pottery in the world actually. It seems Japan was so full of food that hunters could just stay in a place and hunt (mostly fish) their food from home. The Jomon had their fun for around 10,000 years until rice farmers came over from Korea and brought agriculture and metallurgy with them in 300 BC. The Yayoi culture they are called. These farmers moved eastward, and slowly built their own megalithic civilization, with massive tombs at all.

 

Japanese take on pyramids

 

By 700 AD you had a modern kingdom, with writing, a Chinese style bureaucracy, international trade, overseas expeditionary armies and everything you can think of. They Yamato court based itself in the central plains on what’s today Osaka/Kyoto, and even had the balls of calling themselves Heavenly Emperor and tell the Chinese behemoth they expected equal treatment. The actual territorial reach of the Yamato court wasn’t that big though. They had reached the Kanto plains (where Tokyo is today), but had some trouble expanding further north. If you check Google Map’s Terrain layer you can see that the terrain north of Tokyo isn’t very inviting. And it’s cold too. But there was something else.

Someone else actually. Remember those Jomon guys? Well they didn’t just disappear. While the Yayoi farmers mostly took over and replaced the Jomon culture in the West of the country, the eastern Jomon had one thousand years to learn some tricks to defend themselves. They had adopted horses, and became experienced horse-archers. They also learned some horticulture, and even to work metal. By the time the Yamato court armies reached the Northeast, they had a fierce enemy to deal with.

The imperial documents call these people Emishi, or sometimes just “hairy people”, for their long beards and body hair. Time after time they sent armies to go out to get these people to stop raiding their farming villages. These battles more often than not ended up in failure, the Emishi having the home turf advantage, and being quite adept at ambushing and hit-and-run tactics. Once in a while though, some Emishi tribe would surrender to Yamato armies, and swear allegiance to the emperor in Kyoto.

What’d they do with these people? They couldn’t be left in their place to go on raiding farming villages, so the merciful imperial court had the great idea of rounding up these savage tribes and settling them West, in the Yamato heartland. They were settled in good land, put under the care of the local sheriff, and given free food and clothing, and exempted from taxes until they learned to fend for themselves. That is correct, enemy combatants were put on welfare.

 

Hairy prisoners

 

These surrendered Emishi were called Fushuu 俘囚 (prisoners). As you can probably guess, they didn’t just became productive farmers and renounce welfare in a generation. They mostly hang around, keeping as much of their culture as they could, and causing trouble to everyone around them. You can imagine that local officials weren’t very amused with their new subjects. As it happens, civil order was declining too, the Yamato court’s hold on power started to loosen, taxes started to be collected through tax farmers, etc. You get the idea. Peasants were having trouble and complaining too much. The old centralized armies were disbanded after decades of peace, so local officials had to take care of civil order in their domains. They had to raise troops though. Then it struck them: what about these Emishi prisoners? They are fit, adept horse archers, go on practicing their craft all day. They’d make very fine soldiers. And so the Barbarian tribes became the official police force of Japan.

 

Upward mobility!

 

The Japanese government was using foreign barbarians to screw with their own people more than a thousand years ago. Why would they do that? Because the court didn’t give a shit. Emishi tribal leaders stayed in the imperial capital, hang out with the Yamato nobles, and used their government-given riches and patronage to meddle with their old kin in the Northeast, which had grown a taste for Yamato culture, eventually taking Yamato names. The Emishi nobles got Yamato peasants to farm for them, and their tax-exempt status as “allies” of the court made them very rich. They also traded in fur, horses and gold, with little official oversight.

So you have the Emishi having a blast inside and outside of the borders. What happened then? Peace and prosperity? Hah. The “prisoners” became internal bandits preying on trade caravans from the provinces to the capital, and soon afterwards started rioting against the court. The second half of the 9th century was plagued with Emishi riots, which threatened to destroy the polity. Finally in 897 the court had had enough, and ordered that the Emishi were rounded up and deported back to their homeland in the Northeast.

The rioting stopped, but the Emishi did leave a long lasting influence in Japanese military history. The Yamato learned horseback archery from them, and the Emishi sword eventually evolved in the world-famous Katana. Katanas, horse-archery, local armies… the Emishi basically created what was to become the Samurai military culture of later centuries. After imperial rule collapsed in 1185, a military government was established in Kamakura, in the East country, and one of the first things they did was sent over a bunch of Samurais to the North to deal with the Emishi. The Emishi were obliterated, and were never heard from since. Their cousins, the Ainu, held up north in Hokkaido, where rice couldn’t be farmed, so they were left alone by the Yamato until the 19th century. But that’s another story.

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28 responses to “Ethnic policy in ancient Japan

  1. Robert in Arabia June 8, 2013 at 06:33

    Thank you.

  2. The Slitty Eye June 8, 2013 at 09:36

    you should tell them the inspirational story of Ran Min.

  3. Anonymous June 8, 2013 at 12:05

    Great post

  4. Daniel June 8, 2013 at 12:31

    Great stuff. Thankyou.

  5. Athrelon June 8, 2013 at 14:36

    Thanks Spandrell. Agreed that we need more historical perspective – history is data – and I really appreciate your unique input on the history and current events in East Asia.

  6. Handle June 8, 2013 at 15:27

    The early part of this History tracks well with Diamond’s essay. And he’s right, what, to an outsider, seems obvious and innocuous, is controversial and provocative and occasionally semi-taboo on either side of the Korea straits.

    • spandrell June 8, 2013 at 16:08

      We have DNA analysis today. The Jomon admixture in modern Japanese is said to be 20-40%. And you still see dark-ish people with awesome beards once in a while.

  7. Greying Wanderer June 9, 2013 at 02:39

    Good read.

    UK version of this story:




  8. Chief $itting Bull June 9, 2013 at 18:12

    Who were the ainu and emishi closest to genetically? were they a proto-mongoloid remnant? Their hair looks more similar to indian/west-asian hair, i.e. its thick, than to the floppy, straight hair of north eurasians. Maybe they are a remnant of the out-of-africa group from which the ancestor of europeans and asians emerged 20,000 years ago? When I look at photos of them, I can’t help but feel some ancient ancestor thing going on. More than when I look at photos of africans, who we all are supposed to be descended from according to out-of-africa.

    • spandrell June 9, 2013 at 18:18

      1. They do look pretty similar, although the Ainu have recently been found to have mixed with Siberian women from the Okhotsk coast.
      2. In Japanese anthropology they are officially called Proto-Mongoloid. Don’t know how valid that classification is.
      I’ve read people calling them cold-adapted Australoids.
      They just got lucky in Japan, isolated after the ice-age and with lots of food around. They had a long time to evolve without getting quickly replaced like everywhere else. Of course they did eventually.

      • Chief $itting Bull June 9, 2013 at 18:33

        If you read Ahnenkult’s awesome anthropology blog, he had a post somewhere that after you factor out recent yayoi (aka, typical asian) admixture out of the ainu, they actually cluster strongly with australian aborigines and ASI (ancestral south indians, who are only ~30% of the DNA in today’s indians.) Here’s the post : http://www.ahnenkult.com/2012/11/08/rockpool-of-a-retreating-sea-the-ainu-in-the-genomic-context-of-east-eurasia/

        Here’s the catch, despite being close to aborigines along an axis in PCA component graphs, after you ignore north asian admixture, the ainu have genetic signatures that are ONLY found in ancient siberian peoples, and in europeans (from the mesolithic and today.)

        What this means is that, the emishi were the remnant of an aborigine like population that moved north into eurasia about 30,000 years ago, and then split apart into europeans and asians. But they remained. Unchanged. 30,000 years was all it took for aborigines to turn into number-crunching, computer-programming, slide-rule using NASA engineers. 30 fucking thousand years. 30,000 years was all it took for them to develop the skills needed to build the parthenon and versailles. Whats going to happen after another 30,000? WORSE: whats going to happen after another 30,000 and WE ourselves are left a REMNANT? Whats going to happen when our descendants come back and put us into their internment camps?
        You think this is crazy now, but it happened before, why not again? Or maybe we just think too highly of ourselves and the Apollo space modules aren’t really all that more advanced than an aborigine’s boomerang. THAT too is a scary thought…

        • spandrell June 9, 2013 at 18:40

          Cochran made a good argument that the Australians had been making themselves decay through high paternal age, i.e. huge mutational load that made them dumber than their ancestors.

          I do read Ahnkenkult’s blog when he bothers to update it.

          I think this model of people replacing others isn’t too accurate when you think about it. Did the Emishi get replaced? They are up to 40% of the genepool of modern Japan. By all accounts the population numbers of Yayoi farmers and Jomon hunters weren’t 60%-40%. More like 100 to 1. You can still see dark, stocky, full bearded men in Japan today. Methinks the Jomon did a very good job.

          • Chief $itting Bull June 9, 2013 at 18:45

            What yayoi babe wouldn’t squeal and quiver before a gigantic, hairy jomon cock?

          • Chief $itting Bull June 9, 2013 at 18:49

            But still, you have to agree that the intelligence of the beings on this planet has been increasing at an accelerating rate (and by a new carrier each time, I mean primates, wtf?)
            Look I’m native american. We aren’t too smart. But still smart enough to be around. But you guys are like, woah, amirite?
            But, somethings coming, the node has to split again soon. The new carrier will arrive. Whats he going to do with….you?

            • spandrell June 9, 2013 at 18:54

              I’m not that tribal as to care about my people getting conquered 30k years from now. If they aren’t ruling the whole fucking galaxy by then they are not worthy of my legacy.

              • Chief $itting Bull June 9, 2013 at 19:00

                It’s gonna be less than 30k, more like 100. Well, somebody is going to be ruling the galaxy….but its NOT going to be us. It will be descended from us, just like you’re descended from aborigines, but you’re obviously not an aborigine! In fact you probably laugh at them, and think their behavior is stupid. Because it is. So that supergenius starchild will conquer the galaxy, but its going to look at us and laugh. Probably put us in zoos too.

              • Chief $itting Bull June 9, 2013 at 19:06

                hehehehe :P
                Well, monkeys seem to like getting thrown bananas and peanuts (or whatever, I haven’t been to a zoo since I was seven.)

                So why want we enjoy the virtual streaming porn and endless re-runs of futurama that our great-great-great grandchildren will beam into our micro-brains?

        • Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes June 13, 2013 at 00:00

          I’m no expert but…

          20% or more Jomon / Ainu ancestry in modern Japan, plus Japan’s high average IQ should make you question the idea of Jomon / Ainu as Australoids, cold adapted or not. Japan’s IQ doesn’t seem to have suffered from absorbing the Jomon, but Australoids are famous for their low IQs.

          According to Cavalli-Sforza, Ainu actually have (very slightly) greater genetic distance from Australian aborigines than Japanese or Koreans do.

          http://books.google.com/books?id=FrwNcwKaUKoC&pg=PA231&lpg=PA231&dq=ainu+genetics+tibet&source=bl&ots=HlaTNjEE84&sig=ksQ3LW1cAsSStCp9X0drdzeRMl8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=S-y4Ub_gC4P64AOD2YHQAQ&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=ainu%20genetics%3Dfalse&f=false

          The supposed physical similarities of the Ainu and the Australoids comes from certain “archaic” features. But other “archaic” Ainu features made early anthropologists think that the Ainu were similar to Caucasoids. But the Ainu are not Caucasoids or Australoids according to genetic tests.

          Those “archaic” features that make the Ainu stand out are not unique to any one population group. Mongoloids are the weird ones, because they lack those archaic features.

          Many of the features that make the Mongoloid phenotype distinct are traceable to a mutation that is only 35,000 years old. Other features that distinguish Mongoloids from the Ainu could be similarly recent, although we don’t know.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/science/studying-recent-human-evolution-at-the-genetic-level.html?_r=0

          So maybe the Ainu are just a remnant population of Eurasians that missed out on the mutation that gave Mongoloid appearance for a very long time. Similar populations in more accessible areas were wiped out or absorbed long ago, but the Ainu and (to a lesser extent) the Ryukyuans were preserved for much longer due to their isolation, so that some knowledge of their differences survives to this day.

          Also, there is another angle to consider. Most Australoids have non-Homo Sapiens Denisovan ancestry, in addition to the standard Neanderthal. This is a relatively unique feature to the Australoids. East Asians (including Japanese) and Europeans do not have significant Denisovan admixture.

          If Japan had significant Australoid contribution from the AInu / Jomon, then we’d expect to see some Denisovan ancestry as well, right? But we don’t.

          • spandrell June 13, 2013 at 04:43

            I don’t know, I just read about it and thought they kinda look like super-powered australoids, with the beards, dark skin and all.

            The official Japanese position is that the Jomon are old mongoloids and modern NE asians are new mongoloids. So yeah, just a remnant population of Eurasians that missed out on the mutation that gave Mongoloid appearance for a very long time.

  9. Pingback: linkfest – 06/10/13 | hbd* chick

  10. richard wu May 2, 2017 at 17:27

    So jomon emishi male fucking Yayoi(Chinese/Korean) female? Wahahaha how stupid jap give the gold to pig, so why today Japanese have 20% D ydna. That is DNA polution, I also know why Japanese male is like to rape chinese female in WW2 because they have emishi barbarian blood and chinese mother blood line! Until now Japan island only small shit not like China have purest DNA in the world not mixed with any barbarian tribe!

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