Monthly Archives: February 2018

Climate of Kunitokotati’s Time

Temperature over the last 13,000 years, by Yasuda Yoshinori.

This is a continuation of Julian Way’s post about Kunitokotati (Kunitokotachi)

The climate of the Japanese archipelago 15,000 BCE switched from continental type to oceanic type. In the archipelago, centered at 40 degrees north latitude with lots of snow, buna (beech) and oak type deciduous broad-leaved forests expanded. In the midst of the forests of the temperate zone, the oldest doki earthenware of the initial Jomon culture began. Excavation at Fukui-ken Torihama kaizuka 鳥浜貝塚 showed that Jomon resided there 14,500 years ago. 


13,500 years ago, 7,000 people came from Baikal due to climate change on the continent. This map shows Lake Baikal in the upper left corner. The arrow indicates the movement of those Altaic people to East Asia and northern Japan. Hokkaido was still connected to the continent. They migrated to East Nihon where there were only 1500 people, so that 4 out of 5 people were from Baikal. 

Those who solved the difficulty of changing climate and population were those who were later called “Kunitokotachi.” The time was ten thousand years ago. It corresponds to the end of the early Jomon period.

In the days of Toyoke, Isanagi, and Amateru-kimi, around 3,000 years ago, it was getting colder and colder. See chart above by Yasuda Yoshinori, author of Rice-Cultivation Fishing Culture. Note the temperature rise 10,000 years ago, and the warm temperatures between 6,000 to 5,000 years ago, and the cool climate of 3,000 to 2,000 years ago.

The chart below covers a period of 18,000 years. Although the ice age was ending, there was a cooling period called the Younger-Dryas around 11,000 years ago. The warm period is called the Holocene maximum.


Image and quote credit here.

Warming began about 15,000 years ago, interrupted about 4,000 years later by the Younger Dryas, a time when colder conditions returned for about 1,000 years. 10,000 years ago another period of abrupt warming began bringing climate into the present interglacial.




Kunitokotati and To-no-Wosite


Who was Kunitokotati? Kunitokotati is considered the founder of the land. He is the first identified person in the Amakami family tree. His eight sons, called the Kunisatsuchi, spread civilization throughout the islands.

What kind of person was the first Amakami Kunitokotati (Kunitokotachi)? Julian Way’s blog reveals much about him.

Kunitokotati.  Kunitokotati’s character emerges out of the Wosite literature. He sensitively observed and studied everything. He was clearly a creative person who excelled in all things. Moreover, he was a leader that people depended on. He was completely selfless. He generously taught skills to people. He rejoiced at the happiness of others as his own. Furthermore, he was a great person who had the power to see the future.

All was not so simple, though. There were climate changes and immigration from the Continent. See the next post. But Kunitokotati-sama dealt with these problems. Kunitokotati’s era was around 10,000 years ago, long before the time the Wosite Documents were written. Time flowed and flowed until it was around 4,000 years ago. The climate that had been stable suddenly changed.

Toyoke-kami.  Then, from the time when Toyoke-kami was young, society started going downhill. There was a decline in agricultural production, a rise in the difference between rich and poor. People were behaving  badly. Toyoke-sama wanted to correct the situation, to create a new, bright, kuni of peace based on ideals. It was imperative to retrieve what was needed, to look back at the transmission from the past, and to deeply consider and question the foundation of the kuni. 

That foundation is To-no-Wosite.

Also called To-no-Wosiye.

To-no-Wosite.  In Wosite, the character  TO  (see above image) is written with the square of hani and the glyph of two arms spreading open to the sky. The character represents someone who receives the blessings of Nature and shares them freely with others. People shared the blessings they received and were grateful. They understood that each person’s happiness is connected with that of others. Expressed as To-no-Wosiye, this is the Teaching of To.

Kunitokotati-kami built a nation on the foundation of To-no-Wosite, and so did Toyoke-kami and the Hutakami Isanami and Isanagi.





Jomon Population and Language: Notes from Ruins of Identity


Jomon Population

According to Mark J. Hudson, in Ruins of Identity, University of Hawaii Press, 1999, the Japanese islands were settled by populations from Southeast Asia and/or South China during the Pleistocene (epoch before the Holocene). They were the ancestors of the Jomon who occupied the islands from the beginning of the Holocene (approximately 11,500 years before present) until the end of the Jomon period. The Yayoi period began in 300 BCE. with the influx of Northeast Asian people who spread through the islands from Kyushu to Tohoku during the next six hundred years until the Kofun period began in 300 CE.

Jomon Language

There was a single parent Jomon language, Proto-Japanese, which existed before the texts of the 8th century (Kojiki and Nihon Shoki) . Hudson reserves the term Japanese to refer to the population beginning in the Yayoi period that was the admixture of the indigenous Jomon with the Continental immigrants.

He points out that “the most noticeable things… is the comparative lack of linguistic variation in Ainu, Japanese, and Ryukyuan. Many Japanese linguists assume that Japanese has a long history stretching back into the Jomon period for 10,000 years or more, e.g., Sakiyama 1969, 169.” This quote is from Hudson, p 92, and the italics are Hudson’s.

The Northern Kyushu dialect should be the oldest, based on the movement of the immigrating people. However, there is the lack of variations as mentioned above. There is a “relative uniformity of dialects,” p 96, considering the 10,000 years of history.

Commentary by WositeWorld 

WoshiteWorld has been providing information about the Wosite language of the Jomon period. Wosite corresponds to Hudson’s “Proto-Japanese.” Hudson has emphasized the uniformity of dialects through the Japanese islands. That phenomenon may be due, whether in part or in large measure, to the efforts of the Hutakami who unified the Wosite language and the population as they created the kuni called Yamato. See Awanouta and other posts about kuni-umi.