Hayato people

The Hayato (隼人), which is Japanese for "falcon-people",[1] were a people, believed to be of Austronesian origin,[2][3][4] of ancient Japan who lived in the Satsuma and Ōsumi regions of southern Kyushu during the Nara period. They frequently resisted Yamato rule. After their subjugation they became subjects of the government under Ritsuryō, and the Ministry of the Military had an office known as the Hayato-shi (隼人司) in charge of their governance. The name also came into use by samurai as a title, hayato no suke (隼人助). In modern times, Hayato is a Japanese male given name.

History and culture

The Hayato might have been the same as the Kumaso group of around the same time,[5] but while the Kumaso are mentioned in the more legendary portions of the Nihon Shoki, the Hayato are recorded in various historical texts until the beginning of the Heian period. Though the Kumaso are generally portrayed as rebellious, the Hayato are listed among the attendants of emperors and princes from as early as Emperor Nintoku's reign.[6] This, along with a mention of Hayato crying before the grave of Emperor Yūryaku after his death, suggests that the Hayato were naturalized as personal servants by the late 7th century.

Even after pledging allegiance to the Japanese court, the Hayato continued to resist its rule. After the establishment of Ōsumi Province in 713, the Ōsumi Hayato fought back in 720 with the Hayato Rebellion, but were defeated in 721 by an army led by Ōtomo no Tabito. The Handen-Shūju system was implemented in their lands in 800. The population of Yamato immigrants in Kagoshima prefecture in the early 8th century has been estimated at around 9,000 people and one-seventh of the total population.[7] By this estimate, the Hayato population of the time can be calculated as consisting of around 54,000 people (not including Hayato emigrants to Honshū).[8]

The Hayato were made to emigrate to the Kinai region, and were active in the protection of the court, the arts, sumo, and bamboo work.[9] Many lived in Yamashiro Province, in the south of modern Kyoto. There remains an area called Ōsumi (大住) in Kyōtanabe, Kyoto, where many Ōsumi Hayato lived. These were the Hayato governed by the Hayato-shi.

The Hayato are believed to be of Austronesian origin.[10] Their culture and language are also believed to be unique from those of other regions of Japan. In particular, their folk song and dance became famous in the Kinai region as the Hayato dance (隼人舞).[11] An excavation of Heijō Palace discovered wooden shields with a distinctive reverse-S-shaped marking. These shields match those described in the Engishiki, which the Hayato used in court ceremonial functions. The Hayato had roles in various state ceremonies, including those for the new year, imperial enthronement, and visiting foreign officials.

According to the ancient records of Hizen province, the Gotō Islands were also inhabited by a people resembling the Hayato. The New Book of Tang describes a minor king of Haya (波邪), and this Haya has also been interpreted as referring to the Hayato.[12]

There are three types of graves archaeologically associated with the Hayato: the underground tunnel tombs (地下式横穴墓) widely distributed around the border of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures,[13] the standing stone graves (立石土壙墓) of the southern Satsuma peninsula, and the underground stone-slab graves (地下式板石積石室) found north of the Satsuma peninsula. Another large group of tunnel tombs is located near the Ōsumi area of Kyotanabe. Because of the proximity and because the gravelly soil of the area is not suited to such tombs, these may also be associated with the Hayato.

In Japanese mythology, the deity Umisachihiko is considered the ancestor of the ruler of the Ata Hayato. The Hayato Dance may be intended to portray Umisachihiko's pain at being outdone by his younger brother Yamasachihiko.[14]

Regional distribution

Ata Hayato (阿多隼人), or Satsuma Hayato
A Hayato tribe who lived on the Satsuma Peninsula. Before the establishment of Satsuma Province, the area was known as Ata. The Nihon Shoki's section on 682 calls them the Ata Hayato, while the section of the Shoku Nihongi on the year 709 refers to them as the Satsuma Hayato.
Ōsumi Hayato (大隅隼人)
A Hayato tribe who lived in the northern Ōsumi Peninsula, or by another theory the Kimotsuki plain region.[15] They are mentioned in Nihon Shoki article on 682.
Tane Hayato (多褹隼人)
A Hayato tribe who lived in Tane Province. In 702, the court dispatched an army and conquered the region.
Koshiki Hayato (甑隼人)
A Hayato tribe who lived on the Koshikijima Islands. They are mentioned in the Shoku Nihongi's section on 769.
Hyūga Hayato (日向隼人)
A Hayato tribe who lived in Hyūga Province. The Shoku Nihongi records that in 710, their leader Sonokimi no Hosomaro (曾君細麻呂) submitted to the court and was awarded the rank of outside () ju go-i no ge (従五位下). However, this was before the separation of Ōsumi province from Hyūga Province in 713. The history of Usa Shrine records that later, in 719, the Ōsumi and Hyūga Hayato attacked Japan, perhaps a precursor to the rebellion of 720.

Skeletal findings

Anthropological research on human skeletons of the Kofun period on southern Kyushu has shown that male skeletons found inland differ from those on the Miyazaki plain. Inland skeletons resembled those of Jōmon people and northwestern Kyushu Yayoi people,[16] and some groups on the plain also resembled northern Kyushu Yayoi people.[17] Additionally, skeletons excavated from late Yayoi-period ruins on Tanegashima are smaller than those found on Kyushu, and show signs of artificial cranial deformation.


  1. ^ William George Aston says this in his note, see Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697, translated from the original Chinese and Japanese by William George Aston. Book II, note 1, page 100. Tuttle Publishing. Tra edition (July 2005). First edition published 1972. ISBN 978-0-8048-3674-6
  2. ^ 角林, 文雄「隼人 : オーストロネシア系の古代日本部族」、『京都産業大学日本文化研究所紀要』第3号、京都産業大学、1998年3月、 ISSN 13417207
  3. ^ Kidder, Jonathan Edward (2007). Himiko and Japan's Elusive Chiefdom of Yamatai: Archaeology, History, and Mythology. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824830359.
  4. ^ Kakubayashi, Fumio. 隼人 : オーストロネシア系の古代日本部族' Hayato : An Austronesian speaking tribe in southern Japan.'. The bulletin of the Institute for Japanese Culture, Kyoto Sangyo University, 3, pp.15-31 ISSN 1341-7207
  5. ^ One theory holds that the Hayato were descendants of the Kumaso. In recent years, though, the theory has taken root that because the "kuma" and "so" in "Kumaso" and the names of the Ata Hayato and Ōsumi Hayato all refer to regions of southern Kyushu, these may have been general names applied to several distinct cultural groups of rebellious local people by the Yamato court.Takemitsu, Makoto (1999). 古事記・日本書紀を知る事典 [Encyclopedia of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki] (in Japanese). 東京堂出版. p. 223. ISBN 4-490-10526-6.
  6. ^ After the death of Emperor Nintoku one individual, named Sobakari in the Kojiki and Sashihire in the Nihon Shoki, assassinated the prince he served on the orders of another prince. However, he was then given sake and assassinated by the prince he had betrayed his master for. The story illustrates the use of Hayato as unofficial military forces.Sasayama, Haruo (1975). 古代国家と軍隊 皇軍と私兵の系譜 [The Nation and Army in Ancient Times: Genealogies of the Imperial and Private Armies] (in Japanese). 中公新書.
  7. ^ The Japanese Society for Historical Studies (日本史教育研究会) (2001). Story 日本の歴史 古代・中世・近世史編 [Story: A History of Japan - Ancient Times, the Middle Ages, and Recent Times] (in Japanese). 山川出版社. p. 62.
  8. ^ Koyama Shūzō of the National Museum of Ethnology has mathematically estimated that the population of the Japanese islands during the Kofun period was approximately 5,400,000 people. Since the population even in the Nara period remained less than 6,000,000, the Hayato population may be assumed to be around one-hundredth of the total population of the islands. Kōichi Mori, ed. (1986). 日本の古代5『前方後円墳の世紀』 [Ancient Japan Part 5: The Age of Keyhole Kofun] (in Japanese). 中央公論社. p. 131. ISBN 4-12-402538-6.
  9. ^ The Nihon Shoki records that in the court of Emperor Tenmu, in the late 7th century, the Hayato performed sumo in the court, but it is not described as different from the sumo of the Yamato themselves. In 682, the Ōsumi Hayato and Ata Hayato competed in sumo and the Ōsumi side won, and in 695 a bout of sumo between Hayato on the grounds of Asuka-dera drew a crowd of spectators.
  10. ^ Kakubayashi, Fumio. 隼人 : オーストロネシア系の古代日本部族' Hayato : An Austronesian speaking tribe in southern Japan.'. The bulletin of the Institute for Japanese Culture, Kyoto Sangyo University, 3, pp.15-31 ISSN 1341-7207.
  11. ^ The Hayato dance appears repeatedly in the Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, and Shoku Nihongi, performed on the occasion of paying tribute to the court and for the benefit of foreign visitors.
  12. ^ Kadowaki, Teiji; Mori, Kōichi (1995). 古代史を解く『鍵(キーワード)』 [Keys to Understanding Ancient History] (in Japanese). 学生社. pp. 183–184. ISBN 4-311-20194-X.
  13. ^ These underground tunnel tombs are focused around Hyūga, Ōsumi, and Satsuma, but the underground stone-slab graves are found mainly in the Satsuma region. Therefore, it is theoried that the former were widely used by various Hayato, while the latter were used specifically by the Ata Hayato. Yoshirō Kondō; Chōji Fujisawa, eds. (1966). 日本の考古学 IV 古墳時代 (上) [Archaeology in Japan IV: The Kofun Period (Part 1)] (in Japanese). 河出書房. p. 163.
  14. ^ Tsugita, Masaki (2001) [1977]. 古事記 (上) 全訳注 [Complete Translated and Annotated Kojiki, Part 1]. 38. 講談社学術文庫. p. 205. ISBN 4-06-158207-0.
  15. ^ The latter theory is seen in volume 1 of the 1967 history of Kanoya City (鹿屋市史)
  16. ^ The Yayoi people of northwestern Kyushu are thought to be the descendants of the Jōmon people of the region, who adopted and naturalized into the Yayoi culture. The mention in the Hizen ancient records of Hayato-like people in the Gotō islands can also be explained if we consider that they too were descended from northwestern Kyushuan Yayoi people. Ueda, Masaaki (1983). エコール・ド・ロイヤル 古代日本を考える 『日本古代史の謎再考』 (in Japanese). 学生社. p. 52.
  17. ^ Matsushita, Takayuki (1990). 南九州における古墳時代人骨の人類学的研究 [Anthropological Research on Human Skeletal Remains from the Kofun Period in Southern Kyushu] (in Japanese).


  • Nakamura, Akizō. 隼人の古代史 [Ancient History of the Hayato] (in Japanese). 平凡社新書. ISBN 978-4582851199.
Ainu people

The Ainu or the Aynu (Ainu: アィヌ, Аину, Aynu; Japanese: アイヌ, Ainu; Russian: Айны, Ajny) or the Ezo (蝦夷) in the historical Japanese texts, are an indigenous people of Japan (Hokkaido and formerly Northeastern Honshu) and Russia (Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, Khabarovsk Krai and the Kamchatka Peninsula).Official estimates place the total Ainu population at 25,000, but unofficial estimates place its total population at 200,000, because many Ainu have been completely assimilated into Japanese society and as a result, they have no knowledge of their ancestry.

Austronesian peoples

The Austronesian peoples, or more accurately Austronesian-speaking peoples, is a large group of various peoples in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Oceania and Madagascar that speak the Austronesian languages. The nations and territories predominantly populated by Austronesian-speaking peoples are known collectively as Austronesia.

Black people in Japan

Black people in Japan (黒人, Kokujin lit. black people) are Japanese residents or citizens of Sub-Saharan African ancestry.


Hayato may refer to:

Hayato (given name), a masculine Japanese given name

Hayato, Kagoshima, a town located in Aira District, Kagoshima, Japan

Hayato people (隼人, "falcon person"), peoples of ancient Japan

Hayato (satellite), a Japanese CubeSat

History of Kagoshima Prefecture

The outline of the History of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan is described herein.


Umisachi-hiko (海佐知毘古/海幸彦), in Japanese mythology and folklore, was a deity of the bounty of the sea and enchanted fisherman.

He is called Hoderi no mikoto (火照命) in the Kojiki, and Ho-no-susori no mikoto (火闌降命) or Ho-no-suseri no mikoto (火酢芹命) in the Nihon Shoki.

In Japanese mythology, he appears with his younger brother Yamasachi-hiko (Hoori). When the fish hook he lends to his younger brother is lost at sea, he demands its return rather than to accept any compensation. Later, he is defeated and subjugated by his younger brother, who has obtained mastery of the tides with a magic jewel.

Japanese people

Japanese people (Japanese: 日本人, Hepburn: nihonjin) are an ethnic group that is native to the Japanese archipelago and modern country of Japan, where they constitute 98.5% of the total population. Worldwide, approximately 129 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 125 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live outside Japan are referred to as nikkeijin (日系人), the Japanese diaspora. The term ethnic Japanese is often used to refer to mainland Japanese people, specifically Yamato people. Japanese people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world.


Kamikoshiki Island (上甑島, Kamikoshiki-jima) is the second largest island in the Koshikijima Islands. Its coasts are washed by East China Sea. The island's highest peak is Mount Tomekiyama 423 m (1,388 ft) high.

Ogasawara Islanders

The Ogasawara Islanders (欧米系, Ōbeikei lit. Westerners), also Bonin Islanders, are a Euronesian ethnic group native to Japan. They are culturally and genetically distinct from the Yamato, the Ainu, and the Ryukyuans as they are the modern-day descendants of Europeans, White Americans, Polynesians, and Kanaks who settled Hahajima and Chichijima in the 18th century.

Ryukyuan people

The Ryukyuan people (琉球民族, Ryūkyū minzoku, Okinawan: Ruuchuu minzuku), also Lewchewan or Uchinaanchu (沖縄人, Japanese: Okinawa jin), are the indigenous peoples of the Ryukyu Islands between the islands of Kyushu and Taiwan. Politically, they live in either Okinawa Prefecture or Kagoshima Prefecture. Their languages make up the Ryukyuan languages, considered to be one of the two branches of the Japonic language family, the other being Japanese and its dialects.Ryukyuans are not a recognized minority group in Japan, as Japanese authorities consider them just a subgroup of the Japanese people, akin to the Yamato people. Although unrecognized, Ryukyuans constitute the largest ethnolinguistic minority group in Japan, with 1.3 million living in Okinawa Prefecture alone. There is also a considerable Ryukyuan diaspora. As many as 600,000 more ethnic Ryukyuans and their descendants are dispersed elsewhere in Japan and worldwide; mostly in Hawaii and, to a lesser extent, in other territories where there is also a sizable Japanese diaspora. In the majority of countries, the Ryukyuan and Japanese diaspora are not differentiated so there are no reliable statistics for the former.

Recent genetic and anthropological studies indicate that the Ryukyuans are significantly related to the Yamato people (mainland Japanese) but have also a relative closer relation to the Ainu people, compared with the Yamato people. This is possibly explained with partially shared ancestry of the population during the Jōmon period (pre 10,000 BCE – 1,000 BCE) and with the population of the Yayoi period (1,000 BCE – 300 CE), which were migrants from East Asia (specifically China and the Korean peninsula).The Ryukyuans have a specific culture with some matriarchal elements, native religion, and cuisine which had fairly late (12th century) introduction of rice. The population lived on the islands in isolation for many centuries, and in the 14th century from the three divided Okinawan political polities emerged the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429–1879) which continued the maritime trade and tributary relations started in 1372 with Ming dynasty China. In 1609 the kingdom was invaded by Satsuma Domain which allowed its independence being in vassal status because Tokugawa Japan was prohibited to trade with China, being in dual subordinate status between both China and Japan.During the Meiji period, the kingdom became Ryukyu Domain (1872–1879), after which it was politically annexed by the Empire of Japan. In 1879, after the annexation, the territory was reorganized as Okinawa Prefecture with the last king Shō Tai forcibly exiled to Tokyo. China renounced its claims to the islands in 1895. During this period, Okinawan ethnic identity, tradition, culture and language were suppressed by the Meiji government, which sought to assimilate the Ryukyuan people as Japanese (Yamato). After World War II, the Ryūkyū Islands were occupied by the United States between 1945 and 1950 and then 1950–1972. During this time, there were many violations of human rights. Since the end of World War II, there exists strong resentment against the Japanese government and US military facilities stationed in Okinawa, as seen in the Ryukyu independence movement.United Nations special rapporteur on discrimination and racism Doudou Diène, in his 2006 report, noted perceptible level of discrimination and xenophobia against the Ryukyuans, with the most serious discrimination they endure linked to their dislike of American military installations in the archipelago. An investigation into fundamental human rights was suggested.


Shimokoshiki Island (下甑島, Shimokoshiki-jima) is the largest island in the Koshikijima Islands. Its coasts are washed by East China Sea. The island's highest peak is Mount Otake 604 m (1,982 ft) housing a long-range radar station of Japan Air Self-Defense Force at 31.694625°N 129.715992°E / 31.694625; 129.715992.

Yamato people

The Yamato people (大和民族, Yamato minzoku, also in older literature "Yamato race") or Wajin (和人, Wajin, literally "Wa people") are an East Asian ethnic group and nation native to the Japanese archipelago. The term came to be used around the late 19th century to distinguish the settlers of mainland Japan from minority ethnic groups who have settled the peripheral areas of Japan, such as the Ainu, Ryukyuans, Nivkh, Oroks, as well as Koreans, Taiwanese, and Taiwanese aborigines who were incorporated into the Empire of Japan in the early 20th century. People of Yamato Province incorporated native Japanese as well as Chinese and Korean migrants. Clan leaders also elevated their own belief system that featured ancestor worship into a national religion known as Shinto.The name was applied to the Imperial House of Japan or "Yamato Court" that existed in Japan in the 4th century, and was originally the name of the region where the Yamato people first settled in Yamato Province (modern-day Nara Prefecture). Generations of Japanese historians, linguists, and archeologists have debated whether the word is related to the earlier Yamatai (邪馬台). The Yamato clan set up Japan's first and only dynasty.

In recent centuries, some Yamato have emigrated from Japan to Peru, Brazil, and other South American countries.

Ethnic groups in Japan


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