The Boxer Rebellion, Boxer Uprising, or Yihetuan Movement was an anti-imperialist, anti-colonial, anti-Christian uprising that took place in China between 1899 and 1901, toward the end of the Qing dynasty. They were motivated by proto-nationalist sentiments and by opposition to Western colonialism and the Christian missionary activity, associated with it, it was initiated by the Militia United in Righteousness, known in English as the Boxers, for many of their members had been practitioners of Chinese martial arts referred to in the west as Chinese Boxing. The uprising took place against a background that included severe drought and disruption caused by the growth of foreign spheres of influence; the original cause of the uprising was the particular jurisdictional status of European legations in Peking, which were not subject to Chinese authorities: robber gangs were formed in the out-buildings of the German legation, spreading outrage in the Chinese locals. As a result, opposition to Western colonialism and Christian missionary activity took place.
After several months of growing violence in Shandong and the North China plain against the foreign and Christian presence in June 1900, Boxer fighters, convinced they were invulnerable to foreign weapons, converged on Beijing with the slogan Support the Qing government and exterminate the foreigners. Foreigners and Chinese Christians sought refuge in the Legation Quarter. In response to reports of an armed invasion by allied American, Austro-Hungarian, French, Italian and Russian forces to lift the siege, the hesitant Empress Dowager Cixi supported the Boxers and on June 21 issued an Imperial Decree declaring war on the foreign powers. Diplomats, foreign civilians, soldiers as well as Chinese Christians in the Legation Quarter were detained for 55 days by the Imperial Army of China and the Boxers. Chinese officialdom was split between those supporting the Boxers and those favoring conciliation, led by Prince Qing; the supreme commander of the Chinese forces, the Manchu General Ronglu claimed he acted to protect the besieged foreigners.
Many officials refused the imperial order to fight against foreigners in their Mutual Protection of Southeast China, because Qing had lost the First Sino-Japanese War five years before. The Eight-Nation Alliance, after being turned back, brought 20,000 armed troops to China, defeated the Imperial Army, arrived at Peking on August 14, relieving the siege of the Legations. Uncontrolled plunder of the capital and the surrounding countryside ensued, along with the summary execution of those suspected of being Boxers; the Boxer Protocol of 7 September 1901 provided for the execution of government officials who had supported the Boxers, provisions for foreign troops to be stationed in Beijing, 450 million taels of silver—approximately $10 billion at 2018 silver prices and more than the government's annual tax revenue—to be paid as indemnity over the course of the next thirty-nine years to the eight nations involved. The Empress Dowager sponsored a set of institutional and fiscal changes in a failed attempt to save the dynasty.
The Righteous and Harmonious Fists arose in the inland sections of the northern coastal province of Shandong, long known for social unrest, religious sects, martial societies. American Christian missionaries were the first to refer to the well-trained, athletic young men as "Boxers", because of the martial arts and weapons training they practiced, their primary practice was a type of spiritual possession which involved the whirling of swords, violent prostrations, chanting incantations to deities. The opportunities to fight back Western encroachment and colonization were attractive to unemployed village men, many of whom were teenagers; the tradition of possession and invulnerability went back several hundred years but took on special meaning against the powerful new weapons of the West. The Boxers, armed with rifles and swords, claimed supernatural invulnerability towards blows of cannon, rifle shots, knife attacks. Furthermore, the Boxer groups popularly claimed that millions of soldiers of Heaven would descend to assist them in purifying China of foreign oppression.
These beliefs are characteristic of millenarian movements of nativist resistance the characteristic magical belief, shared by the Ghost Dancers of North America and the Kartelite Cults of Africa, that the believer could be rendered invulnerable to bullets. In 1895, in spite of ambivalence toward their heterodox practices, Yuxian, a Manchu, prefect of Caozhou and would become provincial governor, used the Big Swords Society in fighting bandits; the Big Swords, emboldened by this official support attacked their local Catholic village rivals, who turned to the Church for protection. The Big Swords responded by burning them. "The line between Christians and bandits", remarks one recent historian, "became indistinct." As a result of diplomatic pressure in the capital, Yuxian executed several Big Sword leaders, but did not punish anyone else. More martial secret societies started emerging after this; the early years saw a variety of village activities, not a broad movement with a united purpose. Martial folk religious societies such as the Baguadao prepared the way for the Boxers.
Like the Red Boxing school or the Plum Flower Boxers, the Boxers of Shandong were more concerned with traditional social and moral values, such as filial piety, than with foreign influences. One leader, Zhu Hongdeng (Red Lantern Zh
The Boshin War known as the Japanese Revolution, was a civil war fought in Japan between the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate and supporters of the Imperial Court from 27 January 1868 to 27 June 1869. The Tokugawa Shogunate's handling of foreigners following the Opening of Japan during the 1850s and decline from increasing Western influence in the economy disillusioned many kazoku nobles and young samurai warriors, who sought to return power to the Emperor's Imperial Court in Kyoto after 683 years of Shogunate rule. An alliance of court officials and western samurai from the domains of Chōshū, Satsuma and Tosa, supported by the United Kingdom secured control of the Imperial Court. Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the sitting shōgun, abdicated political power to the young Emperor Meiji hoping that the House of Tokugawa could be preserved and participate in the future government. Military movements by Imperial forces, French support, partisan violence in Edo, an imperial decree abolishing the Tokugawa promoted by Satsuma and Chōshū led Yoshinobu to launch a military campaign to seize the Emperor's court in Kyoto.
The conflict turned against the Shogunate, Yoshinobu surrendered after a series of battles culminating in the surrender of Edo. Tokugawa loyalists retreated to northern Honshū where they joined the Northern Alliance against the Imperial faction, but were defeated several months and fled to Hokkaidō. In January 1869, the Shogunate established the Republic of Ezo on Hokkaidō to continue their rule as a separate state and sued for peace; the Imperial faction invaded Hokkaidō and defeated the Shogunate at the Battle of Hakodate in June, ending the war. The Boshin War made imperial rule supreme throughout the whole of Japan, completing the military phase of the Meiji Restoration and establishing the Empire of Japan; the victorious Imperial faction abandoned its objective to expel foreigners from Japan, instead adopted a policy of continued modernization and industrialization to eventual renegotiation of the unequal treaties with the Western powers. Tokugawa loyalists were shown clemency due to the persistence of Saigō Takamori, a prominent leader of the Imperial faction, many former Shogunate leaders and samurai were given positions of responsibility under the new government.
Around 120,000 men were mobilized during the conflict and of these about 3,500 were killed, over time the war has been romanticized as a "bloodless revolution" because of the small number of casualties. For the two centuries prior to 1854, Japan had limited exchange with foreign nations, with the notable exceptions of Korea via Tsushima, Qing China via the Ryūkyūs, the Dutch through the trading post of Dejima. In 1854, Commodore Perry opened Japan to global commerce with the implied threat of force, thus initiating a period of rapid development in foreign trade and Westernization. In large part due to the humiliating terms of the unequal treaties, as agreements like those conveyed by Perry are called, the shogunate soon faced internal hostility, which materialized into a radical movement, the sonnō jōi. Emperor Kōmei agreed with such sentiments, and—breaking with centuries of imperial tradition—began to take an active role in matters of state: as opportunities arose, he fulminated against the treaties and attempted to interfere in the shogunal succession.
His efforts culminated in March 1863 with his "Order to expel barbarians". Although the shogunate had no intention of enforcing it, the order inspired attacks against the shogunate itself and against foreigners in Japan: the most famous incident was that of the English trader Charles Lennox Richardson, for whose death the Tokugawa government had to pay an indemnity of one hundred thousand British pounds. Other attacks included the shelling of foreign shipping in Shimonoseki. During 1864, these actions were countered by armed retaliations by foreign powers, such as the British bombardment of Kagoshima and the multinational Shimonoseki Campaign. At the same time, the forces of Chōshū, together with rōnin, raised the Hamaguri rebellion trying to seize the city of Kyoto, where the Emperor's court was held, but were repelled by shogunate forces under the future shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu; the shogunate further ordered a punitive expedition against Chōshū, the First Chōshū expedition, obtained Chōshū's submission without actual fighting.
At this point initial resistance among the leadership in Chōshū and the Imperial Court subsided, but over the next year the Tokugawa proved unable to reassert full control over the country as most daimyōs began to ignore orders and questions from Edo. Despite the bombardment of Kagoshima, the Satsuma Domain had become closer to the British and was pursuing the modernization of its army and navy with their support; the Scottish dealer Thomas Blake Glover sold quantities of warships and guns to the southern domains. American and British military experts former officers, may have been directly involved in this military effort; the British ambassador Harry Smith Parkes supported the anti-shogunate forces in a drive to establish a legitimate, unified Imperial rule in Japan, to counter French influence with the shogunate. During that period, southern Japanese leaders such as Saigō Takamori of Satsuma, or Itō Hirobumi and Inoue Kaoru of Chōshū cultivated personal connections with British diplomats, notably Ernest Mason Satow.
The shogunate was preparing for further conflict by modernizing its forces. In line with Parkes' designs, the British the shogunate's primary partner, proved reluctant to provide assistance; the Tokugawa thus came to rely on French expertise, comforted by the military prestige of Napoleo
Geography of Japan
Japan is an island nation comprising a stratovolcanic archipelago over 3,000 km along East Asia's Pacific coast. It consists of 6,852 islands; the main islands are Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido. The Ryukyu Islands and Nanpō Islands are south of the main islands; the territory extends 377,973.89 km2. It is fourth largest island country in the world. Japan has the sixth longest coastline 29,751 km and the eighth largest Exclusive Economic Zone of 4,470,000 km2 in the world; the terrain is rugged and mountainous with 66% forest. The population is clustered in urban areas on the coast and valleys. Japan is located in the northwestern Ring of Fire on multiple tectonic plates. East of the Japanese archipelago are three oceanic trenches; the Japan Trench is created as the oceanic Pacific Plate subducts beneath the continental Okhotsk Plate. The continuous subduction process causes frequent earthquakes and stratovolcanoes; the islands are affected by typhoons. The subduction plates have pulled the Japanese archipelago eastward, created the Sea of Japan and separated it from the Asian continent by back-arc spreading 15 million years ago.
The climate of the Japanese archipelago varies from humid continental in the north to humid subtropical and tropical rainforest in the south. These differences in climate and landscape have allowed the development of a diverse flora and fauna, with some rare endemic species in the Ogasawara Islands. Japan extends from 122 ° to 153 ° east longitude. Japan is surrounded by sea. To the north the Sea of Okhotsk separates it from the Russian Far East, to the west the Sea of Japan separates it from the Korean Peninsula, to the southwest the East China Sea separates the Ryukyu Islands from China and Taiwan, to the east is the Pacific Ocean; the Japanese archipelago is over 3,000 km long in a north-to-southwardly direction from the Sea of Okhotsk to the Philippine Sea in the Pacific Ocean. The major islands, sometimes called the "Home Islands", are Hokkaido, Honshu and Kyushu. There are 6,852 islands in total, including the Nansei Islands, the Nanpō Islands and islets, with 430 islands being inhabited and others uninhabited.
In total, as of 2018, Japan's territory is 377,973.89 km2, of which 364,543.89 km2 is land and 13,430 km2 water. Japan has the sixth longest coastline in the world, it is fourth largest island country in the world. There are a wide range of climatic ecosystems. Due to Japan's many far-flung outlying islands and long coastline, the country has extensive marine resources; the Exclusive Economic Zone of Japan is the eighth largest in the world. It is more than 11 times the land area of the country. Japan has a population of 126,672,000 in 2016, it is the tenth most populous country in second most populous island country. 81% of the population lives on Honshu, 10% on Kyushu, 4.2% on Hokkaido, 3% on Shikoku, 1.1% in Okinawa Prefecture and 0.7% on other Japanese islands such as the Nanpō Islands. Total: 377,973.89 km2 land: 364,543.89 km2 water: 13,430 km2 notes: Includes the Bonin Islands, Daitō Islands, Minami-Tori-shima, the Ryukyu Islands, the Volcano Islands. This includes the Senkaku Islands which are owned by Japan and disputed by the PRC.
It excludes Liancourt Rocks. Location: Japan is a long island chain between the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan and the Philippine Sea, it is in East Asia and North East Asia. Japan is east of the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan. Map references: Asia, East Asia, North East Asia, Pacific Ocean Terrain: rugged and mountainous with about 70% mountainous land. Land boundaries: the ocean, no land borders. Coastline: 29,751 km Population: 126,672,000 Territorial sea: 12 nmi. Exclusive economic zone of Japan: 4,470,000 km2, it stretches from the baseline out to 200 nautical miles from its coast. Contiguous zone: 24 nmi Climate: varies from humid continental climate in the north to humid subtropical and tropical rainforest climate in the south of the Japanese archipelago. Natural resources: small deposits of coal, oil and minerals. There is a major fishing industry and untapped marine resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Japan. Arable land: 11.65% permanent crops: 0.83% other: 87.52% Irrigated land: 25,000 km2 Total renewable water resources: 430 km3 Freshwater withdrawal: total: 90.04 km3 per year per capita: 714.3 m3 per year Japan is informally divided into eight regions from north to south: Hokkaidō Tōhoku region Kantō region Chūbu region Kansai region Chūgoku region Shikoku KyūshūEach contains several prefectures, except the Hokkaido region, which covers only Hokkaido Prefecture.
The regions are not official administrative units, but have been traditionally used as the regional division of Japan in a number of contexts. For example
Tokyo Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world; the urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603, it became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is referred to as a city but is known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo; the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo were Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, it merged with Tokyo Prefecture and became Tokyo Metropolis with an additional 26 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture, the Izu islands and Ogasawara islands south of Tokyo.
The population of the special wards is over 9 million people, with the total population of Tokyo Metropolis exceeding 13.8 million. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area called the Greater Tokyo Area with over 38 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy; as of 2011, Tokyo hosted 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city in the world at that time. Tokyo ranked third in the International Financial Centres Development Index; the city is home to various television networks such as Fuji TV, Tokyo MX, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, Nippon Television, NHK and the Tokyo Broadcasting System. Tokyo third in the Global Cities Index; the GaWC's 2018 inventory classified Tokyo as an alpha+ world city – and as of 2014 TripAdvisor's World City Survey ranked Tokyo first in its "Best overall experience" category. As of 2018 Tokyo ranked as the 2nd-most expensive city for expatriates, according to the Mercer consulting firm, and the world's 11th-most expensive city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's cost-of-living survey.
In 2015, Tokyo was named the Most Liveable City in the world by the magazine Monocle. The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo was ranked first out of all sixty cities in the 2017 Safe Cities Index; the QS Best Student Cities ranked Tokyo as the 3rd-best city in the world to be a university student in 2016 and 2nd in 2018. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, the 1979 G-7 summit, the 1986 G-7 summit, the 1993 G-7 summit, will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics. Tokyo was known as Edo, which means "estuary", its name was changed to Tokyo when it became the imperial capital with the arrival of Emperor Meiji in 1868, in line with the East Asian tradition of including the word capital in the name of the capital city. During the early Meiji period, the city was called "Tōkei", an alternative pronunciation for the same characters representing "Tokyo", making it a kanji homograph; some surviving official English documents use the spelling "Tokei".
The name Tokyo was first suggested in 1813 in the book Kondō Hisaku, written by Satō Nobuhiro. When Ōkubo Toshimichi proposed the renaming to the government during the Meiji Restoration, according to Oda Kanshi, he got the idea from that book. Tokyo was a small fishing village named Edo, in what was part of the old Musashi Province. Edo was first fortified in the late twelfth century. In 1457, Ōta Dōkan built Edo Castle. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu was transferred from Mikawa Province to Kantō region; when he became shōgun in 1603, Edo became the center of his ruling. During the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century, but Edo was Tokugawa's home and was not capital of Japan. The Emperor himself lived in Kyoto from 794 to 1868 as capital of Japan. During the Edo era, the city enjoyed a prolonged period of peace known as the Pax Tokugawa, in the presence of such peace, Edo adopted a stringent policy of seclusion, which helped to perpetuate the lack of any serious military threat to the city.
The absence of war-inflicted devastation allowed Edo to devote the majority of its resources to rebuilding in the wake of the consistent fires and other devastating natural disasters that plagued the city. However, this prolonged period of seclusion came to an end with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853. Commodore Perry forced the opening of the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate, leading to an increase in the demand for new foreign goods and subsequently a severe rise in inflation. Social unrest mounted in the wake of these higher prices and culminated in widespread rebellions and demonstrations in the form of the "smashing" of rice establishments. Meanwhile, supporters of the Meiji Emperor leveraged the disruption that t
The Sengoku period is a period in Japanese history marked by social upheaval, political intrigue and near-constant military conflict. Japanese historians named it after the otherwise unrelated Warring States period in China, it was initiated by the Ōnin War, which collapsed the Japanese feudal system under the Ashikaga shogunate, came to an end when the system was re-established under the Tokugawa shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu. During this period, although the Emperor of Japan was the ruler of his nation and every lord swore loyalty to him, he was a marginalized and religious figure who delegated power to the shōgun, a noble, equivalent to a generalissimo. In the years preceding this era the Shogunate lost influence and control over the daimyōs. Although the Ashikaga shogunate had retained the structure of the Kamakura shogunate and instituted a warrior government based on the same social economic rights and obligations established by the Hōjō with the Jōei Code in 1232, it failed to win the loyalty of many daimyōs those whose domains were far from the capital, Kyoto.
Many of these Lords began to fight uncontrollably with each other for control over land and influence over the shogunate. As trade with Ming China grew, the economy developed, the use of money became widespread as markets and commercial cities appeared. This, combined with developments in agriculture and small-scale trading, led to the desire for greater local autonomy throughout all levels of the social hierarchy; as early as the beginning of the 15th century, the suffering caused by earthquakes and famines served to trigger armed uprisings by farmers weary of debt and taxes. The Ōnin War, a conflict rooted in economic distress and brought on by a dispute over shogunal succession, is regarded as the onset of the Sengoku period; the "eastern" army of the Hosokawa family and its allies clashed with the "western" army of the Yamana. Fighting in and around Kyoto lasted for nearly 11 years, leaving the city completely destroyed; the conflict in Kyoto spread to outlying provinces. The period culminated with a series of three warlords, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who unified Japan.
After Tokugawa Ieyasu's final victory at the siege of Osaka in 1615, Japan settled down into several centuries of peace under the Tokugawa shogunate. The Ōnin War in 1467 is considered the starting point of the Sengoku period. There are several events which could be considered the end of it: Nobunaga's entry to Kyoto or abolition of the Muromachi shogunate, the Siege of Odawara, the Battle of Sekigahara, the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate, or the Siege of Osaka; the upheaval resulted in the further weakening of central authority, throughout Japan regional lords, called daimyōs, rose to fill the vacuum. In the course of this power shift, well-established clans such as the Takeda and the Imagawa, who had ruled under the authority of both the Kamakura and Muromachi bakufu, were able to expand their spheres of influence. There were many, whose positions eroded and were usurped by more capable underlings; this phenomenon of social meritocracy, in which capable subordinates rejected the status quo and forcefully overthrew an emancipated aristocracy, became known as gekokujō, which means "low conquers high".
One of the earliest instances of this was Hōjō Sōun, who rose from humble origins and seized power in Izu Province in 1493. Building on the accomplishments of Sōun, the Late Hōjō clan remained a major power in the Kantō region until its subjugation by Toyotomi Hideyoshi late in the Sengoku period. Other notable examples include the supplanting of the Hosokawa clan by the Miyoshi, the Toki by the Saitō, the Shiba clan by the Oda clan, in turn replaced by its underling, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a son of a peasant with no family name. Well-organized religious groups gained political power at this time by uniting farmers in resistance and rebellion against the rule of the daimyōs; the monks of the Buddhist True Pure Land sect formed numerous Ikkō-ikki, the most successful of which, in Kaga Province, remained independent for nearly 100 years. After nearly a century of political instability and warfare, Japan was on the verge of unification by Oda Nobunaga, who had emerged from obscurity in the province of Owari to dominate central Japan, when in 1582 Oda was assassinated by one of his generals, Akechi Mitsuhide.
This in turn provided Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who had risen through the ranks from ashigaru to become one of Oda's most trusted generals, with the opportunity to establish himself as Oda's successor. Toyotomi consolidated his control over the remaining daimyōs and, although he was ineligible for the title of Sei-i Taishōgun because of his common birth, ruled as Kampaku. During his short reign as Kampaku, Toyotomi attempted two invasions of Korea; the first spanning from 1592 to 1596 was successful but suffered setbacks to end in stalemate. When Toyotomi died in 1598 without leaving a capable successor, the country was once again thrust into political turmoil, this time Tokugawa Ieyasu took advantage of the opportunity. Toyotomi had on his deathbed appointed a group of the most powerful lords in Japan—Tokugawa, Maeda Toshiie, Ukita Hideie, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Mōri Terumoto—to govern as the Council of
The Yayoi period is an Iron Age era in the history of Japan traditionally dated 300 BC–300 AD. Since the 1980s, scholars have argued that a period classified as a transition from the Jōmon period should be reclassified as Early Yayoi; the date of the beginning of this transition is controversial, with estimates ranging from the 10th to the 6th centuries BC. The period is named after the neighborhood of Tokyo where archaeologists first uncovered artifacts and features from that era. Distinguishing characteristics of the Yayoi period include the appearance of new Yayoi pottery styles and the start of an intensive rice agriculture in paddy fields. A hierarchical social class structure has its origin in China. Techniques in metallurgy based on the use of bronze and iron were introduced from China over Korea to Japan in this period; the Yayoi followed the Jōmon period and Yayoi culture flourished in a geographic area from southern Kyūshū to northern Honshū. Archaeological evidence supports the idea that during this time, an influx of farmers from the Asian continent to Japan absorbed or overwhelmed the native hunter-gatherer population.
The Yayoi period is traditionally dated from 300 BC to 300 AD. During this period Japan transitioned to a settled agricultural society; the earliest archaeological evidence of the Yayoi is found on northern Kyūshū, but, still debated. Yayoi culture spread to the main island of Honshū, mixing with native Jōmon culture. A recent study that used accelerator mass spectrometry to analyze carbonized remains on pottery and wooden stakes, suggests that they dated back to 900–800 BC, 500 years earlier than believed; the name Yayoi is borrowed from a location in Tokyo where pottery of the Yayoi period was first found. Yayoi pottery was decorated and produced using the same coiling technique used in Jōmon pottery. Yayoi craft specialists made bronze ceremonial bells and weapons. By the 1st century AD, Yayoi farmers began using iron agricultural weapons; as the Yayoi population increased, the society became more complex. They wove textiles, lived in permanent farming villages, constructed buildings with wood and stone.
They accumulated wealth through land ownership and the storage of grain. Such factors promoted the development of distinct social classes. Contemporary Chinese sources described the people as having tattoos and other bodily markings which indicated differences in social status. Yayoi chiefs, in some parts of Kyūshū, appear to have sponsored, politically manipulated, trade in bronze and other prestige objects; that was possible by the introduction of an irrigated, wet-rice culture from the Yangtze estuary in southern China via the Ryukyu Islands or Korean Peninsula. Wet-rice agriculture led to the growth of a sedentary, agrarian society in Japan. Local political and social developments in Japan were more important than the activities of the central authority within a stratified society. Direct comparisons between Jōmon and Yayoi skeletons show that the two peoples are noticeably distinguishable; the Jōmon tended to be shorter, with longer forearms and lower legs, more wide-set eyes and wider faces, much more pronounced facial topography.
They have strikingly raised brow ridges and nose bridges. Yayoi people, on the other hand, averaged an inch or two taller, with close-set eyes and narrow faces, flat brow ridges and noses. By the Kofun period all skeletons excavated in Japan except those of the Ainu are of the Yayoi type with Jomon admixture, resembling those of modern-day Japanese; the origin of Yayoi culture has long been debated. The earliest archaeological sites are Itazuke or Nabata in the northern part of Kyūshū. Contacts between fishing communities on this coast and the southern coast of Korea date from the Jōmon period, as witnessed by the exchange of trade items such as fishhooks and obsidians. During the Yayoi period, cultural features from China and Korea arrived in this area at various times over several centuries, spread to the south and east; this was a period of mixture between immigrants and the indigenous population, between new cultural influences and existing practices. Chinese influence was obvious in the bronze and copper weapons, dōkyō, dōtaku, as well as irrigated paddy rice cultivation.
Three major symbols of Yayoi culture are the bronze mirror, the bronze sword, the royal seal stone. Between 1996 and 1999, a team led by Satoshi Yamaguchi, a researcher at Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science, compared Yayoi remains found in Japan's Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures with those from China's coastal Jiangsu province and found many similarities between the Yayoi and the Jiangsu remains; some scholars have concluded. Mark J. Hudson has cited archaeological evidence that included "bounded paddy fields, new types of polished stone tools, wooden farming implements, iron tools, weaving technology, ceramic storage jars, exterior bonding of clay coils in pottery fabrication, ditched settlements, domesticated pigs, jawbone rituals." The migrant transfusion from the Korean peninsula gains strength because Yayoi culture began on the north coast of Kyūshū, where Japan is closest to Korea. Yayoi pottery, burial mounds, food preservation were discovered to be similar to the pottery of southern Korea.
However, some scholars argue that the rapid increase of four million people in Japan between the Jōmon and Yayoi periods cannot be explained by migration alone. They attribute the increase to a shift from a hunter-gatherer to an agricultural diet on the islands, with the introduction