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Thread: How prevalent is recent Japanese ancestry in modern Taiwanese?

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    How prevalent is recent Japanese ancestry in modern Taiwanese?

    I think there's somewhat a shortage of studies on the modern Taiwanese population? Anyway, I'm curious as to how a 50 year colonial rule on the island may have had influences on the demographic ancestry of the population.

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    I haven't seen Taiwanese results, but going by history the mainland Japanese didn't really migrated to the island much. Since Taiwan/Formosa was already populated, it hadn't witnessed large scaled Japanese migration like in Nan'yo prefecture/South Pacific Mandate for e.g., except for largely government/military officials.
    Last edited by Kulin; 09-09-2019 at 01:42 AM. Reason: fixed the wording

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    I asked such a thing about the French due to the German occupations of WW1 and WW2, but was told such things are taboo because they are too recent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryS. View Post
    I asked such a thing about the French due to the German occupations of WW1 and WW2, but was told such things are taboo because they are too recent.
    Taboo? That's quite bizarre, I would like to think that this forum wants to gather and discuss as much information as possible. @Kulin, as a moderator could you please confirm if such topics are in fact taboo?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richardrli View Post
    Taboo? That's quite bizarre, I would like to think that this forum wants to gather and discuss as much information as possible. @Kulin, as a moderator could you please confirm if such topics are in fact taboo?
    I am not a moderator but I can surmise that of the ~2 million French babies born during WW2 many of them had German fathers. this could be due to rape or complicity. it is not uncommon for occupying forces to leave a DNA footprint. but because many of these babies would still be alive today such things are considered taboo discussion, I thought. this could apply to any of the countries the Japanese occupied during that same period....
    Last edited by JerryS.; 09-09-2019 at 01:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richardrli View Post
    Taboo? That's quite bizarre, I would like to think that this forum wants to gather and discuss as much information as possible. @Kulin, as a moderator could you please confirm if such topics are in fact taboo?
    No, it isn't against the forum rules lol.

    I think JerryS was referring to the discussion being considered taboo in Taiwan. In regards to that, despite a few territorial disputes presently between Taiwan and Japan, Japanese rule in Taiwan has been viewed generally favourably, especially in comparison to places like Korea or mainland China. In Korea and mainland China, discussion about Japanese ancestry in real life may be considered offensive. Taiwanese aren't really so prejudiced against the Japanese, due to great economic development during Japanese rule.

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    Japanese rule in Taiwan indeed was viewed favorably by many or even most Taiwanese, at least prior to the late 40's influx of Mainlander Chinese (waishengren). That's exactly why I thought the present day Taiwanese would be more open in discussing or revealing any potential recent Japanese ancestry.

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    Probably almost nonexistent. I have yet to see a Taiwanese 23andMe result (whether on Reddit or among my DNA relatives) that shows confirmed recent Japanese ancestry. Taiwanese Han don't seem very "aborigine-mixed" on average either, at least not compared to their Mainland South Chinese counterparts. On GEDmatch calculators they're virtually indistinguishable from Fujian and Guangdong Han.


    This graph shows how the Han Chinese samples in my private dataset typically score on two MDLP K23b ancestry components. It's kind of hard to see, but the squares with red outlines are private Taiwanese/ROC samples, while the white squares are the Chinese reference populations. The red squares cluster around "Hakka", "Chinese_Taiwan" [Minnan], and "Han_Singapore", which suggests that Fujian Han, Guangdong Hakka, Chinese Singaporeans, and Taiwanese are all very similar to each other genetically.



    This is another way of visualizing how my the "Taiwanese" samples in my private dataset cluster on the north-south Han cline- they're on the far right. Basically, more "northern" populations have more green and less orange, while more "southern" populations have more orange and less green.
    Last edited by okarinaofsteiner; 09-11-2019 at 06:14 AM.

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    Study on Taiwanese Han genetics: https://academic.oup.com/hmg/article/25/24/5321/2581402

    This paper suggests that there is a subgroup of Taiwanese Han that belongs to a Han Chinese genetic cluster which does not fall along the North-South East Asia genetic divide. The Taiwanese individuals belonging to this cluster are mostly of self-reported South or Southern Chinese descent.



    Interestingly, a novel pattern appeared among the Han Chinese samples (Fig. 1A). In addition to the north-south twoway partition, the Han Chinese samples clustered into three large groups. By the self-reported parental origins of the TWB samples (Supplementary Material, Table S2), one group was classified as the northern (N) Han Chinese, which shared the northern origin (K2) with the Japanese group. The second group was classified as the southern (S) Han Chinese, which shared the southern origin (K4) with CDX and KHV. Both S and N shared a higher proportion of K1, which indicated a major origin of Han Chinese. In addition to the S and N subgroups with higher proportions of K1, K2 and K4, a third group (T) with a relatively high K3 was detected (Fig. 1A). The emergence of this unique T group was further demonstrated by the hierarchical cluster tree; the S and N groups clustered together before the T group merged into this large branch (Fig. 1B.).

    Of particular note is that the newly identified T group is not a minority one. Of the TWB samples, 14.5% were classified into the T group, and 79.9 and 5% were classified into the S and N groups, respectively (Table 1). Equally interesting is that the T group is not unique in TWB, and is found in 10.7% of CHB individuals, 6.7% of CHS individuals, 2% of KHV individuals (Table 1). To better understand the nature of the T group, we then explored the self-reported ethnicity. Although the T group is more distant from S and N in the hierarchical cluster tree, 98.8% of the S group individuals and 97.1% of the T group individuals self-reported that both parents were of southern Han Chinese origin (i.e. Min-Nan, Hakka and individuals originally from other southern China provinces) compared with only 49.1% for the N group (Supplementary Material, Table S2).

    We further annotated the groups in the PCA plot of the ASIAN set (Fig. 1C). The PC1 values reflected the geographic latitudes of the ancestral origins of the J, N, S, K and D samples from north to south. PC2, on the other hand, distinguish the T group from the N and S groups (Fig. 1C). This unique pattern substantially departs from the north–south division in Han Chinese that has been observed in previous studies (8,9) and is reminiscent of a distinct T group (T1, which differentiated very early from the rest of the sample in hierarchical clustering) forming a gradient of different proportion of admixture with the S group in this sample of Han Chinese from Taiwan.


    To explore the origin of the T group, we performed additional PCAs to correlate the four distinct groups in Taiwan with the ethnic groups from the HUGO Pan Asian SNP Consortium (PASNP) (22,23). In the PCA plot for TWB and neighbouring PASNP subgroups, although based on different sets of SNPs, the TWB individuals remained in the triangle pattern of geographic distribution (Fig. 2). In particular, the S1 subgroup was close to the Taiwan Austronesian groups (the Ami and Atayal samples of PASNP). This supported the hypothesis that the S1 samples may be an admixture of southern Han Chinese and further origins, possibly Austronesian populations. In the PCA plot, the three distinct groups (N2, S2 and S1) demonstrated the north–south trend in the genetic profiles in terms of PC1 values, whereas T1, with distinct PC2 values, was distinct from all the Asian and Austronesian groups in PASNP (Fig. 2) and 1000G (Fig. 1C), implying that current understanding of the migration history of Han Chinese to Taiwan provides little explanation of the origin of the T group. Because Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch settlements were established in Taiwan during the Age of Discovery in the 17th century before Han Chinese began immigrating to the island (1), it might be that T1 is an admixture of early Taiwanese and Europeans. However, the finding that the T ancestral origin can also be found in CHB (Table 1), and that it showed no clear affinity towards 1000G European samples (Supplementary Material, Fig. S1A), makes this explanation less plausible. Furthermore, the finding that T1 is distinct from the north–south gradient seen in Asian populations excludes the possibility of Japanese ancestral origin for the T group seen in modern Taiwanese, although Taiwan was occupied and governed by the Japanese for 50 years before World War II (1).
    Last edited by okarinaofsteiner; 09-13-2019 at 12:50 AM.

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    Thank you okarinaofsteiner for this paper. Do we know the ancestry of most of the post 1949 "waishengren" from the Mainland?

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