ya i though japs emigrated from china back in the qin dynasty if u know what i mean ..the 1st emperor to unite china and build the great wall of china...and he want to be an immortal, a somebody say he knows how and ask for the 1000 of the brigtest gal and boys of china then and moved them to japs then..thats what i heard from my chinese literature teachers long time ago..but dunno whether it is true or not...
It really is a very controversial subject.....Japanese seems (or wants) to believe that they really are the descendants of the "God" and that they are the unique race with unique culture and language. Also, many Japanese historians and linguists stand for it. Anyway, from Western historians' view, Japanese are seemed to be the descendants of various Asian ethnic groups ranging from Malay, Korean, Chinese, Austronesian..etc. But the 'ratio' of this 'mixture' varies. Most Korean historians suggest that the mainstream of the "mixture" was ancient Korean, while Japanese stress on Austronesian origin. Western historians don't yet have established any concrete theory.
Still, as many Japanese argue, Japanese ancient history and its origin are full of secrets and mysteries.
Though there have been people inhabiting Japan for many millenia, modern Japanese society sprang from the culture that flourished on the Yamato plain near modern Nara a couple thousand years ago.
Some question was thrown onto the legitimacy of archeological research into the earliest humans in Japan a couple years ago when it was discovered that Japan's top archeologist had been forging his discoveried in order to further his own reputation. It was tremendously damaging because it forced the historical community to rethink everything they though they had learned on the basis of his 'discoveries', which had been quite immense. Don't know if they've sorted things out yet or not!
It is pointless to to try to establish a connection between Japanese culture since Yamato or at least Jomon, and the first inhabitants several millenia ago. They may not even be related.
In Europe it's not sure that Neanderthal or Cro-magnon men are actually realted to modern Europeans. It rather seems that the Aryans who invaded Europe (+ Persia and India) in the 2nd millenium BC and were of Caucasian origin (and therefore the term 'Caucasian' refering to 'white people', evnthough it should include Iranians, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Northern Indian) replace most of the original inhabitants (except maybe the Basques, who were in any case assimilated ethincally by intermarriage).
So, even if there were people in Japan (Ainu-related ?) 5000 years ago or more, who can be sure that they haven't been wiped out by invaders from the Korean Penninsula ? That would explain the very important similarity between Japanese and Korean languages (especially for grammar).
I heard a very interesting argument that said one of the tribes of the Ainu could be a lost tribe of Israel. It was really interesting.... I cant seem to dig it up anywhere though. It may even be wrong. I just find it intersting with stuff like Indo-european people, and movements of ancient races. Like how it seems now that neanderthals didnt rejoin our species, and how it seems now we all came from Africa... or so they say. Who knows.
That reminds me of that Jesus actually died both in India and in Northern Japan.
Funnily enough, nobody outside the US (because of Jewish presence) would think about lost tribes of Israel. Some people say Ainu could be related to Vikings, others to Amerindian tribes and there are people in Japan who think Japanese are from extraterrestrial origin.
Frankly, if you had seen an Ainu even in picture or heard the language, you'd probably not think there is more similarity between them and Jews then between Jews and Quechuas or