Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bird Flu Detected In Miyazaki

From  UPI:

MIYAZAKI, Japan, Jan. 23 (UPI)
The slaughter of more than 10,000 chickens was ordered Saturday on a Japanese farm after avian influenza was detected in six birds, officials said.
The prefectural government in Miyazaki also imposed a 6-mile quarantine area around the farm where the infected birds were found, The Mainichi Daily News reported. That means no eggs or birds can be transferred within the area until the restrictions are lifted.
Miyazaki on the island of Kyushu is one of Japan's major centers for poultry production with almost 20 million birds in the prefecture. There are 46 farms in the quarantine area with 1.5 million birds.
In 2007, almost 200,000 birds were killed on three farms in the area.
Authorities said that by Friday afternoon, 36 dead birds had been reported at the Mori Furanjo Omagari Nojo farm. Tests were done on seven and the H5N1 virus was detected in six.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another Thank You

I wish to thank Mr. Ichiro Sakita (崎田一郎さん) at the Saitobaru Burial Mounds Museum today for his time to answer questions about the Hayato/ Kumaso/ Yamato, and the historical periods in Miyazaki.
This man went above expectations.  He provided books, videoes, and academic journals.  Thank you so much, ありがとうございます、崎田さん.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lost Decade to the Present

New Miyazaki Governor Shunji Kono
After 1993, Miyazaki saw a severe down turn in its biggest industry, tourism.  Looking for alternatives the prefecture turned to exploiting its natural resources.
Sand from the coast and silt from river beds were dredged and hauled away to be shipped across Japan for concrete and cement.  Granite from mountains was quarried and shipped across Japan as well.  The mountains also boasted native cedar and pine forests, which were cut down for timber.
This had a disastrous effect.  The typhoons of 2003 and 2005 caused enormous rock and mudslides from the mountains.  Stretches of national and prefecture highways in Miyazaki were closed off for up to a week.  The cause was that the deforestation was so severe there was no natural defense against the heavy rains.  Coastal areas flooded due to the silt and sand excavations.  Reconstruction projects more than cost what economic advantage had been won by selling off Miyazaki’s natural resources.
To prevent future occurrences what were once pristine forests on mountain sides were now concreted over to prevent future mud slides.  Entire stretches of Miyazaki coast line were fitted with concrete barricades.
Agriculture became the choice industry.  Cattle and hog farms quickly increased and the Miyazaki Beef and Pork industry was born anew.  This caused many problems.  The cattle and pigs were so crammed into pins that the effluence caused problems for the water quality in some areas.  Citizen groups demanded the prefecture set limits.  While this was done, it merely moved the problem from one area to another.  The Hoof and Mouth Disease outbreak in the spring of 2010 stood to show that no real reasonable solution had been worked out.  The Tokyo government took little action with the prefecture to set goals, guidelines, or limits.
With the aging population and young people moving out of Miyazaki, the family farms across the prefecture began to become a serious problem.  About 1000 farms in the prefecture have been listed as “abandoned” after the elderly passed away and the relatives sold the property to real estate companies.  These farms are in areas so remote that even paved roads are a luxury.  There is little hope any buyer would buy these properties, even JA, the Japanese Agricultural Ministry arm that runs Japan’s corporate farms.
Political scandal also rocked the prefecture during this time.  Former Governor Tadahiro Ando was elected in 2003 to clean up the political system.  Instead in 2006 he was found to have received kick backs in construction bids.
In 2007, Hideo Higashikokubaru was elected governor, and quickly put Miyazaki back on track to recovery.  His focus was first on Miyazaki’s agriculture.  He traveled around Japan and other nations to promote Miyazaki’s variety of agriculture.  Later, he would also push Miyazaki as a travel destination, especially for golf and other athletics like marathon running.  While Higashikokubaru’s policies were welcome by many in Miyazaki, others criticized him for being too one dimensional.  They pointed to his lack of involvement in the Showa Shell Clean Energy project in Saito, and the Miyazaki Electronic Development in Shintomi.
The 2007 closing of the Seagaia Ocean Dome in Miyazaki City was also pointed to as unnecessary if Higashikokubaru would have acted sooner after taking office to save the facility.  Higashikokubaru responded it was the responsibility of Miyazaki City, the Marriot group and Phoenix developers to save the Ocean Dome and not the prefectural government.
During this time a number of mergers occurred in the prefecture.  Takaoka, Kiyotake, Ikime, Tano, and Sadowara merged with Miyazaki City.  Takajo, Takazaki, Yamada, and Yamanokuchi merged with Miyakonojo.  Higashiusuki District was abolished and all towns formed into Misato.  Kitaura and Kitakata were merged with Nobeoka.  Togo was merged with Hyuga.  Kitago and Nango were merged with Nichinan.  Nojiri was merged with Kobayashi.  These mergers were the result of population flight from the small towns into the larger cities and out of the prefecture, and the decline in birthrate as well.  This also caused a number of school and hospital closings in the rural areas.
By 2009, Miyazaki had the distinction of being among the poorest of Japan’s prefectures.  The prefectural government has requested help from Tokyo but the aid has either been declined or having little effect on the economic problems Miyazaki has been facing.  This led to a strong defection from the Liberal Democratic Party in the prefecture and into an Independent and opposition parties like the Democratic Party of Japan, The Social Democratic Party, and the Buddhist affiliated party Happiness Realization.
In 2010, Higashikokubaru announced he would not seek a second term as governor and concentrate on national office instead or perhaps running for the governorship of Tokyo.  In December 2010, former Asst. Governor Shunji Kono, an Independent (backed by the LDP, DPJ, and New Komeito) won the gubernatorial election and will replace Higashikokubaru in Januray 2011.
Kono has been praised by the business community and agricultural community for having a balanced view on how to revitalize all of Miyazaki’s industries.  Kono believes there will have to be another reinvention of Miyazaki to accomplish this.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Shimazu Clan

Seal of the Shimazu

An old folk song in Miyazaki has these lyrics:
Toyotomi taught if the canary does not sing, kill it.
Tokugawa taught if the canary does not sing, be patient.
The Ito say if the canary does not sing, teach it.
The Shimazu say if the canary does not sing, bribe it.
The Shimazu are descendents of the Minamoto clan.  When Yoritomo Minamoto became shogun he gave the Shimazu the Shioda Domain in Shimano Province (modern Nagano Prefecture).
In 1185, Tadahisa Shimazu was named military commander of the Kamakura Shogunate over all of Kyushu.  This meant he received large tribute from the lords of Hyuga, Satsuma (present western Kagoshima, which he was also named lord over), Osumi, and the other Kyushu provinces.  This gave the Shimazu tremendous potential and eventually the Shimazu set their eyes on control of all Kyushu. 
What is now Miyakonojo City gave the Shimazu great leverage for this task to take Hyuga.  In control of Miyakonojo (Capital Castle) since 1375, they were in perfect position to take their conquest into Kumamoto and Hyuga.
The Shimazu before 1477 and the fall of the Kamakura Shogunate had intermittent skirmishes with not only the Ito but also the Tomochi.  Often castles like Mukasa (in present day Takaoka) and Obi Castle would change control from Shimazu to Ito and back again many times.  Mukasa fell from the Ito to the Shimazu in 1403, but the Ito reclaimed it a few weeks later.  It fell again to the Shimazu in 1458, but the Ito reclaimed it a few months later in February 1459.  Mukasa fell for the final time to Shimazu control in 1577 a week before Aya Castle was taken.
The Sengoku Period (1477 – 1582) after the fall of the Kamakura Shogunate gave the Shimazu the opportunity to begin a campaign to rule all of Kyushu.  By 1458 the Simazu had brought Osumi (present day eatern Kagoshima), southern Hyuga, parts of Higo (modern Kumamoto) and all of Satsuma under their control.  They suffered a minor setback when the Ito and their allies wrested Obi in Hyuga back from their control in 1484.
In Satsuma, the Shimazu grew rich in trade of salt (needed for food preservation which Satsuma had the bulk of in Japan), metal work, silk, spirits, and armaments.  They grew even more wealthy conducting trade with the Portuguese from the harbor in Satsuma (modern Kagoshima City).
By 1577 the Shimazu won Hyuga from Ito control after victories in the Battle of Kizakibaru (1572), Battle of Tokubaru (1577) and then finally the successful siege of Aya Castle.  The Ito abandoned their main fortress at Tonokori after receiving the signal of Aya’s fall.  After Aya, the Shimazu advanced to Tonokori to find it abandoned.  The Ito had burned bridges across rivers as they fled north to Otomo controlled lands.  After finally reaching abandoned Miyazaki Castle, the Shimazu raized it and advanced on Sadowara Castle, also to find it abandoned.  The Ito had sent messengers ahead to other castles warning them to advance to Bunga (modern Oita) when Aya fell. 
The control of Shimazu over Hyuga would be short lived when by 1587 the Shimazu were put under control of the shogunate of Hideyoshi Toyotomi.  The Ito received all of Hyuga under their lordship, but the Shimazu were given the Sadowara Domain in Hyuga by the Ito under advice of the Tokugawa as a gesture of goodwill.
At the Battle of Sekigahara, the Shimazu sided with the forces of Mitsunari Ishida against Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa.  After Tokugawa’s victory the Shimazu were financially fined, but had no lands stripped as Tokugawa feared an uprising from the Shimazu.
At this time the Shimazu were expert riflemen, owned one of the few rifle factories, and had stretched their control as far as the Okinawa Islands.  Confined to Satsuma, Okinawa, and part of Hyuga, the Shimazu grew even wealthier although the shogunate kept their power at bay by having shogunate controlled districts throughout their domains.
The Shimazu were able to trade with foreign nations through a concealed port in Okinawa which foreign ships would dock and conduct trade with the Shimazu.  Again the shogunate turned a blind eye as long as the Shimazu made no plans of further conquest.  The Shimazu were among the daimyo families that had to keep their lords’ families in Edo (Tokyo) continually.  This basically held the daimyos’ families as hostages to keep powerful clans like the Shimazu under firm shogunate control.
Throughout the Tokugawa Shogunate the Shimazu, like other daimyo families, settled into a peaceful existence of studying the arts, martial arts, and Buddhist religion.  Many Shimazu became Buddhist priests and Zen masters.
The Meiji Reformation created a split in the Shimazu.  Many revolted against the Tokyo government in the Boshin War (1868 to 1869).  The reason is complex but centered most on the Meiji government enticing violence against Buddhists, confiscating all samurai lands, outlawing the samurai, paying low prices for samurai holdings, and what samurai felt was low stipends for their support.  Others like Shimazu retainer Saigo Takamori had fierce loyalty to the Meiji government, going so far as to demand all samurai and Tokugawa Shogunate lands be stripped completely of their control and given to the government to be distributed among all Japanese classes.  Eventually, Saigo himself led the Satsuma Rebellion (January to September 1877) against the Tokyo government after he tired of Tokyo pushing not only modernization but Westernization of Japan.  Saigo was defeated and killed by Imperial forces at the Battle of Shiroyama in present Kumamoto on September 24, 1877.
During the Meiji Reformation, many Shimazu settled in Tokyo and Kyoto.  For example, Genzo Shimazu founded Shimadzu Industries which is still a scientific and technology research company based in Kyoto.  Shimadzu Industries contributed much to advance Japanese technology during the Meiji era, World War II, and the Japanese aerospace industry today.
By the end of World War II, the Shimazu had lost much of their family in fighting.  The majority were officers in the Imperial Army and Navy.  The toll on life was great for their family.  Shimazu also made up the bulk of Kamikaze units.  Before flying off on his kamikaze mission one Shimazu pilot translated the “Kimigayo”, Japan’s national anthem, into English and mailed it to a close friend in Japanese held Formosa.  It is on display at the Shimazu Museum in Miyakonojo, in beautiful cursive he wrote,
I have only wish: May your reign (the Emperor’s) continue for a thousand, ten thousand generations, until the pebbles grow into boulders lush with moss.  For this I give my life.
Today, the majority of their descendents are still found in Kagoshima and the Miyakonojo District of Miyazaki.  They also have many family members in the Japanese government today.

Thank you to Mr. Karahara at the Shimazu Museum in Miyakonojo for his time today.  The museum was closed today, but he met me there to discuss the Shimazu.  Thank you also for the books and other information you gave me for research.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Reasearch on the Kumaso, Hayato

Kumaso Exhibit, Saitobaru Burial Mound Museum, Saito

“The Kumaso were a group of Japanese people who lived in southern Kyushu from the beginning of recorded Japanese history until sometime in the Nara period.”
“Evidence points to them speaking the Austronesian language.”
“The Nihonshoki says that the 12th Emperor Keiko and his son Prince Yamatotakeru both conducted military missions in order to subjugate them. It also says that the 14th Emperor Chuai (husband of Empress Jingu) fought against Kumaso in the northern Kyushu because they had revolted against Yamato court by allying with Silla kingdom on Korean peninsula. They had been assimilated during Nara period and ceased to revolt.”
The above three quotes are typical misunderstandings of the Kumaso and the Hayato.  The first quote is wrong is because the Kumaso and Hayato lived in Kyushu long before recorded history.  They are the indigenous people of Kyushu.  The second quote is wrong because there is absolutely no evidence that the Kumaso or Hayato spoke an Austronesian language.  How could people indigenous to Kyushu speak a language common to Borneo, Polynesia, and native Philippines?  They didn’t because the Kumaso and Hayato were native to Kyushu.
The third quote is from a writing from the 8th Century CE that was handed down from oral stories and put into writing with much embellishment along the way.  Taking the “Nihonshoki” as historical evidence is like modern Greeks trying to take their mythology as historical fact.  A further fact is that it was a Yamato invasion of Kyushu to further their empire that brought the Kumaso and Hayato under control.
Genetic testing has shown that there was little difference between the Kumaso, Hayato, and Yamato.  What all these quotes miss is that the Japanese archipelago, barring Hokkaido, developed at the same pace, had contact with each other, had contact with Sinic people after 1000 BCE, and emerged in civilizational patterns at the same times.  If anything it was merely cultural differences.  How is that?
Well, consider the Saxons and Celts.  They lived on the same archipelago and the patterns of civilization ran the same.  Their languages were fairly understandable to each other.  The difference came with the Roman and Norman invasions.  In this example the difference is that there was no foreign invasion of Japan, but the Yamato who were genetically linked to the Kumaso and Hayato invaded Kyushu to expand their empire.
A trip today to the Saitobaru Burial Mounds Museum confirms this.  In this museum is an extensive library on anthropology, archaeology, and history.  What one finds is that what commonly thought as history has been slowly debunked.
From Dr. Ryu Otani’s book “The Kumaso” we find:
There is absolutely no evidence, genetically, to show the Kumaso or Hayato were separate in lineage or language from the rest of Shikoku or Honshu.  They were simply the indigenous people of Kyushu.  Both the Kumaso and Hayato inhabited areas all over the island of Kyushu.  If anything it was a mere difference in culture one would expect by a separation of islands, much like the evolutionary process in the Galapagos.  The Kumaso were generally highlanders and the Hayato were generally lowland dwelling people.  Kumaso and Hayato were brothers of the Yamato. (54)
As to the Austronesian language, Mark Hudson in his book “Ruins of Identity” explains:
I have argued that it is difficult to see any evidence of population movements from Austronesia speaking areas into the Japanese islands in late prehistory. (197)
In fact, like the rest of the Japanese archipelago Kyushu was influenced by Sinic civilization.  Hiromichi Hongo, an anthropologist, explains in his book “Kumaso, Hayato History”:
Archaeology and testing show a definite link to Hayato and Kumaso being influenced at the same times as the rest of Japan’s archipelago by the Sinic people of China and Korea.  The Bronze and Iron Ages arrived at the same times and the development from hunting to agricultural societies follows the same time frame.  This refutes earlier postulations from no evidence, aside from myths, that Japanese civilization spread from south to north.  It also shows the Hayato and Kumaso were genetically linked to the rest of Japan, barring the Ainu of Hokkaido who are actually the sole people of Japan that are genetically different from the rest of the Japanese people. (92)
The same conclusion was reached by geneticists who conducted tests on Kumaso, Hayato, Yamato, and Ainu remains.  This is what was reported in the “Japanese Journal of Genetics”:
Genetic testing on Yamato, Kumaso, Hayato, and Ainu remains found the following results.  Yamato, Hayato, and Kumaso were genetically related.  The Ainu, however, were genetically more related to Siberian people of the time, and distant from other people of the Japanese islands.  The people of Okinawa are also distant genetically from the Kumaso, Hayato, and Yamato.  This disproves previous postulations of south to north migration of the Hayato and Kumaso.  Barring the people of Okinawa and the Ainu, the people of Japan are genetically identical. (15+)
The conclusion then is obvious, the Kumaso and Hayato were genetically related to the Yamato and shared common ancestry.  Mythical books cannot prove historical facts.  The Ainu and Okinawa people are not genetically related to the rest of Japan, and the Japanese government has recognized this fact.  It is time for the rest of the world to stop believing bad science and start reporting what Japanese geneticists, archaeologists, and anthropologists have found.  Wikipedia and others are so misleading in their articles on the Kumaso and Hayato.  I offer this:
There is absolutely no evidence to prove a Malay/Polynesian ancestry to the Hayato and Kumaso.  There is plenty of evidence to show they were native to Japan and genetically related to the rest of Japan, barring the Ainu and the Ryuku people of Okinawa.  The Ainu and Ryuku are the sole people not genetically related the rest of Japan.
Hongo, Hiromichi. “Kumaso, Hayato History”, Yoshigawa Museum. 2004 ed
Hudson, Mark. “Ruins of Identity”, University of Hawaii. 1999
Japanese Journal of Genetics volume 27 issue3, spring 2010.  “Hayato, Kumaso, and Yamato”
Otani, Ryu. “The Kumaso”, Tokyo University. 2006

Big Thank You

I wish to thank Miyazaki City and Saitobaru Burial Mounds for allowing me to link their sites.  I am very encouraged that they enjoy the site and have read my posts and provided me with some corrections and more information.  Also thank you for suggesting books to consult.  This is very kind and valuable.  This shows the pride the people of Miyazaki have for not only their beautiful prefecture but for their history as well.  Thank you so very much to JR Kyushu for emailing the history of the main stations in the prefecture as well.
Mayor Tojiki and Governor-Elect Kono are working very hard for the people of Miyazaki and exiting Governor Higashikokubaru will be very missed.
Together we work for mutual benefit - 宜しくお願いします.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Ito Clan

Seal of the Ito

In 1190, the Kamakura shogunate gave control of Hyuga to Suketsune Kudo.  Among his retainers were the Ito who had remained loyal to Kudo and Yoritomo Minamoto during the Kamakura campaigns.  The Hosokawa were also loyal retainers of Minamoto and Kudo.
In 1330, the Ashikaga began a rebellion to wrest control from the corruption and brutality of the Kamakura shogunate.  By 1333 the Ashikaga had succeeded and the Hosokawa were granted land in Aya and the Ito land in Tonokori.  Both clans built mountain castles to show their power, influence, and prominence.
In 1334, the Hosokawa had finished Aya Castle and changed their family name to Aya.  In 1337, the Ito completed Tonokori Castle.  Both castles were of the mountain style.  The castles used natural protection of cliffs and gorges for protection.  Large moats were dug and the soil was used to build further barriers and ramparts.
During this time the Ito began to consolidate their power with other clans in Hyuga.  In 1346 Obi Castle was built as a southern protection of Hyuga.  Through marriage and alliances the Ito became the dominant family in Hyuga.  By 1450 the Shimazu began their quest for Hyuga and all of Kyushu.  In 1458, Obi Castle fell to the Shimazu, and the Ito and allies were able to stop further expansion by the Shimazu.  In 1484, the Ito forces were able to reclaim Obi Castle.
After this the Ito began to build a further number of castles for the protection of Hyuga Province eventually totaling 48.  They also formed alliances with other Kyushu lords like the Otomo in Bungo (today’s Oita Prefecture) and in Higo (modern Kumamoto).  These lords were also afraid of Shimazu power expansion and intentions.
The Ito’s center of command and power was Tonokori Castle (modern Saito).  It was decided if Aya fell that a flare would be sent and Tonokori would be abandoned and the Ito would flee and collect their vassals and retainers in an escape to Otomo lands in Bungo and Higo.
In 1570, the Shimazu began a second conquest of Hyuga.  In 1572, the Ito were routed in the Battle of Kizakibaru (in modern Ebino) and Obi fell to the Shimazu a few weeks later.  The Shimazu kept on the offensive and slowly Miyakonojo, Takajo, and Takaokajo fell to Shimazu control.  The Ito were defeated in the Battle of Takabaru in 1577 (modern Kobayashi) and retreated in separate divisions to Aya, Tonokori, Sadowara, and Kadogawa.  In December 1577, Aya fell to the Shimazu and Tonokori saw the flare.  Quickly all along the line of the remaining castles flares were shot and Yoshisuke Ito gathered his family and retainers and left Tonokori.  Along the way at such castles as Miyazaki, Sadowara, and Kadogawa, the Ito fled together to Bungo.  Along the way they burned bridges and settlements to slow the advance of the Shimazu.  They made Bungo by mid January 1578.
Half of the clan fled to then to Higo.  Yoshisuke’s son, Mansho, would later become a Catholic seminarian in Nagasaki with the Jesuit order and be the lead diplomat on an embassy mission to the Vatican in 1586.
Yoshisuke, gathered samurai and retainers and left Bungo in February 1578 for Kyoto to petition the shogunate for help.  They crossed the bay from Bungo to Sadamisaki in Shikoku.  From there they traveled to Osaka Bay and landed in Osaka to finish the journey to Kyoto.  By early May they had reached Kyoto and with other lords they warned of Shimazu expansion and informed Shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi of the Shimazu danger.
Toyotomi quickly initiated a force to conquer Hyuga back from the Shimazu and by 1587 Hyuga had been returned to the Ito.  To pacify the Shimazu the Ito granted them land in the Sadowara District.  As a sign of gratitude the Ito granted the Akizuki the Saito domain, and the Naito (Otomo retainers) the Nobeoka domain.  Toyotomi gave the Ito lordship over Hyuga with all domains ordered to give annual tax tribute to the Ito who had set their base of power up in Obi again.
The Ito backed Ieyasu Tokugawa in the Battle of Sekigahara and for this the Ito were allowed more tribute from the other samurai.  The Shimazu who had turned against Tokugawa were penalized financially but not by lands being stripped because Tokugawa feared stripping them of land who start a revolt.  The Shimazu were powerful, even though there were splits among their family.  For example, the Shimazu in the Miyakonojo District were on friendly terms with the Ito where as the Shimazu in the Sadowara District saw the Ito as enemies.
Throughout the Tokugawa shogunate, the Ito expanded in wealth and influence with other families in the Tokugawa Court.  This assured that they received protection from the shogunate.  In 1625, to maintain the peace in Hyuga the shogunate set up five districts under direct Tokugawa control in Hyuga.  These were: Miyazaki, Usuki, Koyu, Naka, and Morokata.  The Ito made up the vast samurai numbers who manned the districts as a military force loyal solely to the Tokugawa.
After the Meiji Reforms began, the Ito proved loyal to the Tokyo government and served among the first high ranking members of the government and military.  By 1920, the Ito had moved to Tokyo and their holdings in the established Miyazaki Prefecture were sold to the prefecture.