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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:31 am    Post subject: Xi family Reply with quote
In a post I made in the literature forum about this book, ヒルコ---棄てられた謎の神 [単行本], I was asking about the legend (?) of the Xi姬 family of the Zhou dynasty being the progenitors of the Ki姬 family in Japan. Has anyone heard or read anything about this? John
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
What Chinese character is Xi?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi, It is this 姬 Ji (Man.) Gei (Can.); Xi is an old romanisation. Ki or Hime in Japanese. John
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
It seems the legend came out from old Chinese books.
晋書 and 梁書 described 倭人 were descendants of 太伯(Wu Taibo).

Quote:
『晋書』「列傳・四夷・東夷・倭人」
「男子無大小、悉黥面文身。自謂太伯之後。」

Quote:
『梁書』「列傳・諸夷・東夷・倭」
「倭者、自云太伯之後。俗皆文身。」
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you. So, these Wo people of Japan claim descendance from Wu Taibo, King (Hakushi) Ji of the Jin dynasty? Any in depth resources available? Not much on the web, however I shall keep looking. John
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I would guess that they claim that descent. Its provability may be difficult.

China had many people with the same family names; and still do today. They often were clan-like, in that they claimed descent from a single ancestor, who may or may not have been legendary. Just because there was a famous person doesn't necessarily mean that everyone with that name was descended from them, or that they were anything special after a few generations. Just because there are people named Wang (王) doesn't mean they are related to Wang Mang of the Han interregnum. Someone with the name An (安) could be from Persia (Anxi), a Sogdian (e.g. An Lushan), or could be from some other source where "An" was appropriate at that time.

All this to say: I'm not sure what you are trying to get at and imply. I know that the "Hata" (秦) claim that they were from Qin, and there may be a connection or may not be. Likewise with other names. The Nihongi does provide some insight about certain families of Korean descent getting named in groups that indicate that descent (without apparently caring what their Korean names were, as far as I can tell).

So what are you trying to get at?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
There are Bizen sword smiths that use the family name Ki and it may prove transmission of steel making and forging technology from Wu. The times of these smiths working is almost 1000 years later, so, indeed it may be legendary or NOT? Too, there is definite Malayo-Polynesian heritage in Japan and the Wo clan's claim has possibilties. Predating the Yayoi migrations. John
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Just to add. The author suggests that Amaterasu and Susana-o were leaders of different factions from Wu immigrants with Amaterasu being the winner of a subsequent conflict when the two settled regions came into disagreement. John
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
Just to add. The author suggests that Amaterasu and Susana-o were leaders of different factions from Wu immigrants with Amaterasu being the winner of a subsequent conflict when the two settled regions came into disagreement. John


There are many different stories by different researchers.
Generally Amaterasu and Susano-o are considered to be fictional figures.

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There are Bizen sword smiths that use the family name Ki and it may prove transmission of steel making and forging technology from Wu.


Who?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The fictional accounts may have a basis on these earlier migrants and their exploits. The authour is actually quite brave in his postulations as they go against Shinto doctrine. As to the Bizen kaji; there was a smith Bungo Yukihira and a disciple known as Ki (紀) no Masatsune considered to be Bungo smiths. Their swords do not follow Bungo style though, more Bizen. The Masatsune lineage MAY be descendants of Yukihira and the Ki family. Ichimonji Sukemitsu and Sukeyoshi for example signed with the family name Ki 紀 which derives from the Xi family which started the Zhou dynasty and subsequent branch family starting the Jin dynasty. According to the book written by Manabu Toya, a shinto priest and history journalist, this family name is the oldest family name in Japan, and originated in Zhou 周 Dynasty period of China, surprisingly, 11BC. The Zhou Dynasty was established by the Xi 姫 family (this letter reads as Ki in Japanese,) and its branch family formed Wu province in China, today's Suzhou area. Around 3 to 4 BC, a group of the Xi family that ruled this area moved to Japan, and formed the origin of today's imperial family and its primitive branch families. Today, the royal family has no family name, but before the Kofun period, some documents suggests that they named themselves as Ki 姫. One branch family reserved to used the same letter, so they changed their family name to 紀.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
What Kanji for Kino Masatsune?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I did quick google research in Japanese for the 紀氏-姫氏 theory.
It seems some researchers think when 呉 fallen the royal family and nobles fled to Japan, became the first Yayoi migrants.

I think it makes sense.
But Japan's 紀氏 related records do not indicate anything about it.
And 紀氏 was not steel smithing clan.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
紀正恒 Ki no Masatsune, Bungo, Shochu 1324-1326. I wouldn't suspect the clan to have records of this endeavour, but, the use of the name by these smiths shows some kind of affiliation. The crux of the matter is the metal crafting ( not just steel, but, copper alloys) technology came into Japan with the new migrations from the mainland. Previously two vectors have been surmised. Primarily via Korean migrations, secondly via northern migrations (Oshu smiths); now maybe from Wu for a third. The problem is the disparity in time. Because these kind of things can persist in the oral tradition it is hard to think of any other explanation. Thanks for the interest. John
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Improvements in radiocarbon dating, specifically with the development of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) use, have revealed that the Yayoi period began much earlier than previously thought. Early Yayoi sites have been pushed back to 1000-700BC, overturning the traditional image of the Yayoi Period in which metallurgy accompanied the first immigrants. Iron objects that can be reliably dated do not appear until the early Middle Yayoi, hundreds of years after wet-rice agriculture was introduced to Japan. Even conservative revisions of Yayoi dating today place the beginning of agriculture in Japan several hundred years before metallurgy.

Secondly, the incipient Yayoi culture was not one of nobility, nor was there anything affluent about it.This can be readily understood by looking at the mortuary practices and material culture left behind. Archaeology, which studies the remains of the actual individuals on the ground, does not support the immigration theories presented in this thread.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes perhaps 800 BCE or thereabouts. It is thought that wet field rice production preceeded metallurgy. However iron implements would have been imported very soon afterwards as they were vital to wet field agriculture, bronze metal would have been for more ceremonial objects primarily. The earliest metal objects appear in the Initial (I) Yayoi @ Margarita site, ( an high grade forged steel flat iron axe); Early (II) Yayoi @ Saitoyama site,( a cast iron socketed axe, lower grade); Early (I) Yayoi @ Imagawa, bronze and iron arrowheads and a bronze chisel). These were all imported from the mainland. The first evidence of domestic production is in the first half of the Middle (III) Yayoi, however it is only mainland importation of refined metals that allow this work. There is no proof that metal was smelted domestically during the Yayoi phase. I suspect that it must have. Importation would not have kept up with demand. The other thing is that there was no single polity. The Han-shu 2nd cent. BCE refers to northern Kyushu as being a land of 100 polities. When Wu was defeated by the Yue (484 BCE) this corresponds to the Early (II) Yayoi-Itatsuke I phase. These migrants could have been any one or more of the 100 polities and did not necessarily have to be composed of exiled nobility, just the regular refugees one sees. Wu and indeed Yue were noted for their expertise in metallurgy and masters of weapons production. Another thing I have noted in some studies of mitochondrial DNA in migrant populations is that there are Malayo-Polynesian markers in the Japanese population at large. Of course research is still needed and I suspect eventually smelting sites will be found for this period as well. John
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Have to run, but thought I would send out a quick reply:

Quote:
However iron implements would have been imported very soon afterwards as they were vital to wet field agriculture, bronze metal would have been for more ceremonial objects primarily.


For those following along, in addition to the traditional division of the Yayoi Period into Initial, Early, Middle, Late, and Terminal, an addition scheme has come into common use. Within the parentheses after each division, the first date will be the traditional assignment and the second date will be the recently revised date (if there is only one date, it will be the revised version):

先I: Initial Yayoi (mid-5C BC~; BC1000~)
I: Early (4/3C BC~; BC800~)
II: early-Middle (BC400~)
III: middle-Middle (BC200~)
IV: late-Middle (early-1C BC~)
(Middle Yayoi is traditionally considered to have started from 2C BC and lasted until AD mid-1C; however, with the lengthening of the period as a whole, the above sub-divisions have become more important)
V: Late (AD mid-1C~; revised date basically unchanged)
VI: Terminal (AD late-2C~mid-3C)

Now, I understand your argument from demand, but cast iron in Japan cannot predate it on the continent. If you accept the revised dates for the Yayoi period, then the adoption of metals and metal technology must be necessarily separated from the introduction of wet-rice agriculture. There surfaces an almost 600-year gap between the two (The Middle Yayoi is dated to BC400).

(Bronze does basically shift to a solely ritual role from 中細形a or b within bronze swords, for example, but let us not forget that analysis of use-wear and recovered weapon tips proves that bronze daggers were actually used in conflicts until Yayoi IV.)

Quote:
The earliest metal objects appear in the Initial (I) Yayoi @ Margarita site, ( an high grade forged steel flat iron axe); Early (II) Yayoi @ Saitoyama site,( a cast iron socketed axe, lower grade); Early (I) Yayoi @ Imagawa, bronze and iron arrowheads and a bronze chisel).


Yes, these have long been touted as the earliest appearances of metal objects in the archipelago. Their validity, however, has been severely called into question in recent years. I will return to this at a later time.

Quote:
The first evidence of domestic production is in the first half of the Middle (III) Yayoi


Domestic production cannot be traced back further than late Middle Yayoi (IV). While older research by Kawagoe and Hashiguchi suggest the possibility of small-scale production in late-Early Yayoi (I), all extant iron implements found in sites believed to date to the early Middle Yayoi and before (鋳造袋状鉄斧, 板状鉄斧, 鉄鎌, etc.), judging on their characteristics, are now believed to be imports. Additionally, as Nojima’s research has brought to light over the past twenty years, cast-iron axes were recycled into smaller tools using domestic stone-polishing techniques. The desire for iron was present before Yayoi IV, but the technology for its smelting or refining was not.

Furthermore, the majority of objects once dated to the Early Yayoi, including those of Magarita/Magarida (Fukuoka) and Saitoyama (Kumamoto), have been redated or the accuracy of their dating assignments or stratigraphic positioning have been greatly called into question. The oldest imported iron implements in Japan appear with certainty in early Middle Yayoi. Double-banded iron axe (二条凸帯斧) fragments (polished down into multiple pieces) found at Ookubo (Ehime), however, do suggest the possibility of Yayoi I importation based on comparisons of Sengoku-period Chinese cast-iron axes. Either way, from both an East-Asian historical standpoint and a consideration of the iron implements unearthed in Japan, there is a several-hundred year gap between the spread of wet-rice agriculture and the limited spread of iron tools *within Kyushu and the western tip of Honshu.*

To wrap up this post, I fear it is deceptive to say that Yayoi immigrants “soon adopted metal implements/technology as it was necessary for wet-rice agriculture.” The earliest paddy sites do not have iron tools. To go one step further, neither do sites from 10C BC~5C BC (Initial Yayoi to the transition between Early and Middle). Within an East-Asian perspective, it was the burst in iron production carried out by the Yan state (燕) in the later 5th century BC that sent the early harbingers of iron culture into Late-Mumon Korea and Japan. Put another way, the first almost-600 years of the Yayoi period were advanced on the back of a combination of traditional and imported stone-working technologies. Even after iron appeared in Japan, refining sites were limited to northern Kyushu, middle Kyushu, Northeast Kyushu, and the western tip of Honshu. The eastern trek of both iron-working and iron objects, themselves, was actually quite slow, not making heavy inroads until Late Yayoi (and late-Late Yayoi for the Kinai region, at that).

Concerning the Imagawa finding, the “bronze chisel” is a chisel-shaped bronze implement (鑿状再加工品) that was recycled from a Liaoning-style bronze dagger piece. It is dated to the 8C BC. It has been suggested that recycled pieces like this (considering their size) were imbedded in the end of wooden handles. There are no certain findings of metal implements for 400 years after Imagawa.

Either way, research over the past 10 years (I recommend any number of recent syntheses by Harunari, Nojima, and Murakami) is completely reshaping our view of the Yayoi period. It no longer seems tenable to equate wet-rice agriculture with metal, nor frame the Yayoi period as the “early Iron Age.”

These are very nuanced arguments worth discussing in greater detail. If you are interested, I would certainly enjoy the discussion.

EDIT: the bold text indicates an edit I made.


Last edited by nagaeyari on Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'd hate or rather like to see a not so quick reply. Thank you. Let me digest what you have written. John
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
(I recommend any number of recent syntheses by Harunari, Nojima, and Murakami)


nagaeyari, can you post their full names in Kanji?
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Absolutely. Some of the most cited literature is produced by the following researchers:

春成秀爾
村上恭通
野島永
藤尾慎一郎
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
My reference has been Prehistoric Japan by Imamura Keiji. It was statements like...'the Hou Han Shu compiled by Fan Ye in the 5th century, mentions in 57 AD the "Na state of Wo" sent emissaries to the Han court. The Na state is now Hakata Bay in the southern island of Kyushu. The Chinese emperor Guangwu presented the emissaries with a gold seal. The gold seal was discovered in 1748 at the mouth of Hakata Bay.' and 'According to the Chinese text Wei Zhi, a part of the San Guo Zhi, Queen Himiko led the Wa from Yamatai after a civil war. Queen Himiko's younger brother carried out government affairs including participating in diplomatic relations with the Chinese Kingdom of Wei. When inquired about their ancestry, the Wa claimed to be descendants of the Grand Count Taibo of Wu, a well known figure of the Wu Kingdom around the Yangtze Delta area in China.', that interest me, in that the state of Wu, Jin dynasty were so advanced in metallurgy and the possible connection through the family name Ki. There are hundreds of years seperating one point from the other, 484 BCE Wu defeat, 57 AD the Hou Han Shu, 3rd century CE Kofun and the formation of the Yamato polity (after moving from Yamatai). That these ancestries are claimed is cause for my original question. Is it possible??
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
When inquired about their ancestry, the Wa claimed to be descendants of the Grand Count Taibo of Wu


The account mentioning Wa ties to Taibo appears in the Brief Account of the Wei (魏略), the Book of Jin (晋書), and The Book of Liang (梁書), among other later texts. Interestingly, however, it does not appear in the Gishi Wajinden (魏志倭人伝). This is especially curious as the Gishi Wajinden relied on the same Brief Account of the Wei (魏略) mentioned above for many of its passages. Why was the mention of Taibo (太伯) of Wu (呉) left out, seemingly on purpose? According to 田中勝也, this omission was a product of the contemporary international climate: at the time of the writing of the Gishi Wajinden, the Wei and the Wu were at odds; it may not have been pleasing to the Wei to include this rather "unfortunate" legend about the people whom they had just conferred the title of "Ruler of Wa, friend of Wei."

This legend has always interested me, but I unfortunately do not know how it should be interpreted. I have long assumed that "the Wa people" claiming such ties were the limited group of elites the Chinese had a chance to speak to, and was not representative of the common people as a whole. Connections such as this, in a culture that tried to emulate China, were surely seen as legitimating, in a similar fashion as the adoption of Chinese court culture in the Asuka period was. I have approached this legend from the perspective of "what benefit would the Wa have in claiming this ancestry?"

All of this to say...I do not know. This passage has long been a mystery to me. The differences in culture (and the absence of cultural elements one would expect if groups from Wu emigrated to Wa) have long made me doubt its veracity, but, again, it is quite the mystery to me.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Showing a continuity or enduring lineage gives credence to claims of leadership, a legitimacy. Maybe this is all it is. Then again why this particular lineage? Indeed a perplexing mystery. John
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes, out of many families and numerous Chinese states, why this one?

And for the sake of discussion, not everyone agrees with the revised dates for the beginning of the Yayoi period, obviously. Two major arguments against the revised dates are as follows:

1) Some take issue with international calibration standards for carbon dating and their applicability to the Japanese situation;

2) If the Middle Yayoi begins at BC400, many home and village dwelling periods become extremely long.

Now, Arai Hiroshi (新井宏), who takes issue with the revised carbon dating, has conducted lead isotope analysis (鉛同位体比) on Yayoi-period bronzes. His dating scheme is as follows:

Late-Early Yayoi~initial-Middle Yayoi: BC250
Mid-Middle Yayoi: BC150

He sees the lead used during Yayoi I/II as a special type that can be pinpointed quite specifically. He suggests that the lead would have been made available to the Japanese after King Zhao from Yan invaded the kingdom of Qi in BC284 (as seen in Shiji 史記).

As you can see, the arguments being made for an early Yayoi by specialists of iron and those being made by researchers of bronze do not dovetail nicely. The jury will be out for some time, it seems.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The only lead isotope studies I have seen are Hisao Mabuchi 1986 and were used to pinpoint the sources of bronze dotaku in Japan, or should I say the bronze for creating them. John
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hmmm.. I think I might smell the slight fragrance of a Yayoi podcast on the winds...
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