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Thread: Ainu People

  1. #1
    J Man
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    Ainu People

    The Ainu are an extremely interesting ethnic group from northern Japan (Hokkaido). In the past they also inhabited parts of northern Honshu, the Kurile island chain, and the southern parts of Sakhalin island. They descend mainly from the ancient Jomon people of Japan and formed later as a merger of the Satsumon and Okhotsk cultures. Genetically they seem to be mainly Jomon by ancestry. For a long time anthropologists thought that the Ainu may have been Caucasoid type people as originally they had anthropological characteristics that resemble Caucasoid people more so that other peoples of East Asia such as Chinese, Koreans and ethnic Japanese (Yayoi) people. Genetics has no shown this to be false though as the Ainu people are mainly ancient Jomon by ancestry as mentioned above. Their dental morphology is also Mongoloid like in nature. Their culture is quite a fascinating one I find as they are known to have incorporated many foreign objects and made them distinctly Ainu by decorating them with Ainu type designs, modifying them and using them for certain activities such as ritual practices (Japanese swords come to mind). Let's get some more discussions going about this interesting ethnic group from the north of Japan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_people

    http://www.ainu-museum.or.jp/en/study/eng01.html

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    I briefly researched this recently...remembering when I was younger how the Ainu were thought to be Caucasoid partially based on their "hairiness" compared to other East Asians. I was surprised that genetically it didn't pan out.

    When it comes to physical appearance "you can't judge a book by it's cover."
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  5. #3
    J Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellSince1893 View Post
    I briefly researched this recently...remembering when I was younger how the Ainu were thought to be Caucasoid partially based on their "hairiness" compared to other East Asians. I was surprised that genetically it didn't pan out.

    When it comes to physical appearance "you can't judge a book by it's cover."
    Yes the Ainu and their main line of ancestors the Jomon people belonged mainly to very ancient Upper Paleolithic peoples of East Asia who were separate from the ancestors of the majority of East Asian peoples today like Chinese and Koreans. The Jomon people most likely did not have the specialized EDAR gene that the ancestors of peoples like Chinese and Koreans developed. Y-DNA haplogroup D was probably the dominant haplogroup among the ancient Jomon people and is the dominant haplogroup among present day Ainu people. Haplogroup D is also quite common in Tibet. Haplogroup C is also present among the Ainu of today though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellSince1893 View Post
    ... I was surprised that genetically it didn't pan out. "
    The Jomon and Ainu appear to have brought mtDNA sequences belonging to N(xR) haplogroups to NE Asia such as Y and N9b. Since the haplogroups of the majority of Europeans are derived from an N(xR) haplogroup, I'm not sure that it "didn't pan out". It may depend upon one's interpretation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellSince1893 View Post
    I briefly researched this recently...remembering when I was younger how the Ainu were thought to be Caucasoid partially based on their "hairiness" compared to other East Asians. I was surprised that genetically it didn't pan out.

    When it comes to physical appearance "you can't judge a book by it's cover."
    You certainly can't.

    I'm to all intents and purposes a male of European origins.

    I have pale skin, brown hair and blue eyes. Not a single Asian phenotype.

    Curiously, my Deep ancestral yDNA is D2a1b2a1a = D-CTS8093, which is the yDNA predominant in the Ainu people, and also the Andaman Islanders, who are genetically related to the Ainu.

    My mtDNA is H2a2, which is originally believed to be from Eastern Europe.


    I know of no Japanese family connections.

    I don't know how prevalent yDNA D is in Tibet, or the sub-clades existing there.
    Last edited by Ian B; 07-23-2014 at 07:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian B View Post
    Curiously, my Deep ancestral yDNA is D2a1b2a1a = D-CTS8093, which is the yDNA predominant in the Ainu people, and also the Andaman Islanders, who are genetically related to the Ainu.
    This is certainly very interesting as far as the linguistics and archeology are of concern, since many have hypothesised that the Jomon culture originally came from SE Asia.

    Regarding the Ainu, they look like a merger of the Jomon-derived Satsumon culture and the Paleosiberian Okhotsk culture (so they're linked to the neighbouring Native American-like Siberians such as the Itelmen & Nivkh).
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 07-23-2014 at 05:19 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gisele H View Post
    The Jomon and Ainu appear to have brought mtDNA sequences belonging to N(xR) haplogroups to NE Asia such as Y and N9b. Since the haplogroups of the majority of Europeans are derived from an N(xR) haplogroup, I'm not sure that it "didn't pan out". It may depend upon one's interpretation.
    The only published sample of modern Ainu mtDNA contains a very high frequency of M-derived haplogroups (12/51 = 23.5% D, 10/51 = 19.6% M7, 10/51 = 19.6% G, 1/51 = 2.0% M9a, 33/51 = 64.7% M total). Their D and M7 subclades are quite similar to those found among other Japanese people, among whom these haplogroups are likewise very common. The Ainu haplogroup G representatives, on the other hand, mainly (but not entirely) belong to a subclade that has been found frequently in other populations located around the Sea of Okhotsk, so it may reflect the coastal Eastern Siberian/Okhotsk culture genetic connections of the Ainu. Overall, their frequency of haplogroup M derivatives is not unusual for their geographic location; they are somewhere between the Koreans and northeastern Chinese (who have slightly less haplogroup M) and the other Japanese and Ryukyuans (who have slightly more haplogroup M).

    Most of the rest of the Ainu mtDNA pool belongs to either of two subclades of N(xR): N9'Y or A. They have 2/51 = 3.9% A and a total of 14/51 = 27.5% N9'Y, with 10/51 or 11/51 belonging to the Y1 subclade (the various studies that have reported on this sample of Ainu mtDNA differ on this point) and the remainder of their N9'Y mtDNA belonging to N9(xY). The Ainu share a high frequency of mtDNA haplogroup Y1 with other populations located around the Sea of Okhotsk in a similar fashion to their haplogroup G1 mtDNA. The total of Y1 + G1 in this Ainu sample is either 18/51 = 35.3% or 19/51 = 37.3%, which might be considered as a rough estimate of genetic influence from the bearers of the Okhotsk culture in Hokkaido (perhaps also apparent in their C-M217 Y-DNA). In any case, the total of N(xR) clades in this sample of modern Ainu is 16/51 = 31.4%.

    The remaining two individuals in this sample of Ainu mtDNA belong to B4f (1/51 = 2.0%) and F1b (1/51 = 2.0%), which descend from typical East Asian subclades of mtDNA haplogroup R, for a total of 2/51 = 3.9% R.

    The overwhelming majority of European mtDNA lineages are derived from haplogroup R, so the Ainu have very, very little connection with Europeans in regard to mtDNA, even in comparison to other East Asians (e.g. Chinese), who actually have much higher frequency and diversity of mtDNA haplogroup R than the Ainu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ebizur View Post
    ...The overwhelming majority of European mtDNA lineages are derived from haplogroup R...
    This is true but European R haplogroups were still derived from an N.... The Asian N (xR) haplogroups have to connect with the other ones and so a migration into the Okhotsk and Japanese regions is indicated.





    The Ainu "M" sequences may be due to admixing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gisele H View Post
    This is true but European R haplogroups were still derived from an N.... The Asian N (xR) haplogroups have to connect with the other ones and so a migration into the Okhotsk and Japanese regions is indicated.
    Please note what you have written previously: "Since the haplogroups of the majority of Europeans are derived from an N(xR) haplogroup, I'm not sure that it "didn't pan out". It may depend upon one's interpretation." Your statement is plainly incorrect; the majority of Europeans are not derived from an N(xR) haplogroup.

    There is no reason to point out the presence of N(xR) mtDNA (mainly N9'Y) in the circum-Okhotsk region in contradistinction to East Asia when the latter region (especially China) has much more N mtDNA overall and, more specifically, has much more R mtDNA, which is more closely related to the mtDNA lineages that are common among West Eurasians.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gisele H View Post
    The Ainu "M" sequences may be due to admixing.
    This statement is simply ridiculous. The Ainu have a frequency of mtDNA haplogroup M that is near the world maximum; if you wish to assume that it may be "due to admixing" with another population, then any population that contains mtDNA haplogroup M may have acquired that "due to admixing."

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  19. #10
    J Man
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    The Ainu, Ryukyuans (Okinawans) and ethnic Japanese people all have significant amounts of Jomon ancestry. The Japanese though have a lot more Yayoi ancestry from mainland East Asia originally mixed in with Jomon compared to the original Ainu and Ryukyuans though who were more so purely descended from Jomons. The Yayoi people were the ones who brought agriculture to Japan from mainland East Asia.

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