Related Pages.


Prehistoric Pacific.

Underwater Constructions.

Prehistoric China.

Prehistoric Korea.


Index of Ancient Sites.









About Us.

A-Z Site Index.

Gift Shop.

Contact Us


       Prehistoric Japan: (Zha'pan, Nippon)

Jomon dogu'The Land of the Rising Sun'.

The Japanese Palaeolithic age covers a period starting from around 100,000 to 30,000 BC, when the earliest stone tool implements have been found, and ending around 12,000 BC, at the end of the last ice age, corresponding with the beginning of the Mesolithic Jōmon period. A start date of around 35,000 BC is most generally accepted. The Japanese archipelago was disconnected from the continent after the last ice age, around 11,000 BC.

The Jomon period lasted from about 14,000 BC to 500 BC and represents the beginning of 'civilisation' in Japan, marked by its distinct pottery, weaving and domestication of plants and animals.

(Above: Jomon 'Dogu')


Article: (May, 2013) 

'The largest ever genetic study of native South Americans identified a sub-population in Ecuador with an unexpected link to eastern Asia. The study, published in PLOS Genetics, concluded that Asian genes had been introduced into South America sometime after 6,000 years ago � the same time the Jomon culture was flourishing in Japan.

Back in the 1960s, the renowned Smithsonian archaeologist Betty Meggers argued that similarities between the pottery of the contemporaneous Valdivia culture in Ecuador and Japan�s Jomon culture indicated that Japanese fishermen had �discovered� America about 5,000 years ago.'.

(Link to Full Article)



   The Yonaguni Monument:

Found near the south shore of Okinawa, Japan in 1995, these fantastic underwater structures were at first argued to have been fashioned by nature.

'The sunken buildings are known to cover the ocean bottom (although not continuously) from the small island of Yonaguni in the southwest to Okinawa and its neighbouring islands, Kerama and Aguni, some 311 miles. If, after all, ongoing exploration here does indeed reveal more structures linking Yonaguni with Okinawa, the individual sites may be separate components of a huge city lying at the bottom of the Pacific. The single largest structure so far discovered lies near the eastern shore of Yonaguni at 100 feet down. It is approximately 240 feet long, 90 feet across and 45 feet high'. (2)

'The 'Yonagumi monument is over 50m long in an east-west direction and over 30m wide in a north-south direction. The top of the structure lies about 5m below sea level, whereas the base is approximately 25m below the surface' (3)


Genetic studies have revealed that native Taiwanese populations carry the purest form of Asian specific Human Lymphocyte Antigens (A24-Cw8-B48, A24-Cw9-B61 and A24-Cw10-B60). Studies have shown that the Taiwan area was the centre of dispersal for the; Tibetans, Thais, Tlingit, Kwakuitl, Haida, Hawaiian, Maori, Pima, Maya, Yakut, Inuit, Buryat, Man, Japanese from Shizuoka and Orochon from North East China (6). This major dispersal event, which happened about 6,000 years ago, suggests a major catastrophic event, such as flooding of the coastline, which caused an exodus of people, from which many new civilizations were born. Mysterious megalithic monuments on Taiwan and numerous underwater ruins north of Taiwan such as near Yonaguni confirm that a significantly organized society once existed in this area as much as 10,000 years ago and was destroyed by rapidly rising sea levels.


On Yonaguni Island and elsewhere in the Okinawa area there appears to be an ancient tradition of modifying, enhancing, and improving on nature (Shinto). On Yonaguni there are very old tombs (age unknown, but possibly on the order of thousands of years old) that stylistically appear to be comparable to the "architecture" of the Yonaguni Monument.

The formations have been compared to the Okinawa Tomb, a rock-hewn structure of uncertain age.


How old is Yonaguni.?

'The rock-faces appear to be dressed stone. If this is an artificial, man-made structure then it is reasonable to assume that it was carved not underwater but at a time when this area was above sea level. Indeed, this area has experienced major rises in sea levels during and since the Pleistocene ("Ice Age") and based on well-established standard curves of sea level rises in the region, as recently as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago the Yonagumi Monument may have been above local sea level. Thus we can suggest with some confidence that if the Yonaguni Monument is a man-made construction then it must be at least 8,000 years old. (3),(7)


10,000 years ago Yonaguni was located very close to the Tropic of Cancer. Today the Tropic of Cancer is located at approximately 23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude while Yonaguni Island is located a full degree further north. However, the position of the Tropic of Cancer varies over the millennia, from under 22 degrees to over 24 degrees, according to a 41,000 year cycle. At around 8,000 B.C. the Yonaguni Monument was located much closer to the Tropic of Cancer.


What proof is there that the site was altered by mankind.?


The archway (left), has been found composed of blocks 'beautifully fitted together' and reminiscent of the masonry of the Inca cities.(2)

The structures are said to resemble ancient buildings on Okinawa itself where sacred buildings are found near Noro, where burial vaults designed in the same rectilinear style are still venerated as repositories for the islanders' ancestral dead. (2)

Several pieces of 'Stone-tools' were recovered at the site. 'Typical ones are adzes' says Prof. Masaaki Kimura, 'They are not polished. Their age is estimated as up to 10,000 years old'. (3)





Other evidence presented by those who favour an artificial origin include the two round holes (about 2 feet wide) on the edge of the Triangle Pool feature, and a straight row of smaller holes which have been interpreted as an abandoned attempt to split off a section of the rock by means of wedges (see right), a feature common in prehistory.

(Other examples of prehistoric 'quarry marks')


 Supporters of an artificial origin also argue that, while many of the features seen at Yonaguni are also seen in natural sandstone formations throughout the world, the concentration of so many peculiar formations in such a small area is highly unlikely. They also point out the relative absence of loose blocks on the flat areas of the formation, which would be expected if they were formed solely by natural erosion and fracturing.

If any part of the Monument was deliberately constructed or modified, it must have happened during or following the last Ice Age, when the sea level was much lower than it is today (e.g. 25m lower around 10,000 years BCE). During the Ice Age, the East China Sea was a narrow bay opening to the ocean at today's Tokara Gap. The Sea of Japan was an inland sea and there was no Yellow Sea; people and animals could walk into the Ryukyu peninsula from the continent. Therefore, Yonaguni was the southern end of a land bridge that connected it to Taiwan, Ryūkyū, Japan and Asia. This fact is underscored by a rock pillar in a now-submerged cave that has been interpreted as a fused stalactite-stalagmite pair, which could only form above water.

Quote: Robert Schoch 1999

'We should also consider the possibility that the Yonaguni Monument is fundamentally a natural structure that was utilized, enhanced, and modified by humans in ancient times. The Yonaguni Monument may even have been a quarry from which blocks were cut, utilizing natural bedding, joint, and fracture planes of the rock, and thence removed for the purpose of constructing other structures which are long since gone'. (7)

(Other Underwater Constructions)

(Prehistoric Pacific Islanders)



   The Ishibutai Tomb:

Ishibutai: The largest Megalithic Tomb on Japan.

Ishibutai is near Nara City, in a neighbouring village named "Asukamura" (mura means village). The chamber is rectangular measuring 25 ft by 11 ft by 15 ft high (the largest in Japan), it is approached by a passage 38 ft in length and roofed by two capstones each weighing between 60 and 70 tons. (Modern estimates place the largest stone at approximately 75 tons) (1)

(The Top-50 Megaliths of all time)

The monument originally consisted of 30 stones. It is suggested to be the tomb of 'Soga no Umako' from around 626 AD.


Interior layout of Ishibutai Tomb.

"Ishibutai" means "stage made of stone". The village people of old time in the Asuka area believed this was used as the stage on which a sacred dance was performed (dedicated) to the Gods.

(More about Dolmens)


Other Interesting structures in the Asuka region:

The mountainous Nara prefecture of Japan is home to the following structures. Perhaps coincidence, but they bear a striking similarity to the masonry at Machu Pichu as the following images testify:

Rhomboid shaped cavity.



'Hitching Stone?' near the top of Iwafune Mountain.


The channels in the rock above are similar to those found at Sacsayhuaman.

Photo Credits and More Information: 

(More about Machu Pichu) 


   Oyu Stone Circle:

The Oyu Stone Circle is located in the 'Akita' Prefecture.  Often described as 'Japan's Stonehenge', the Oyu Stone Circle is a prehistoric site comprising two large circles and a number of other stone structures and ruins. Thought to be 4,000 years old, the site dates from the Jomon Period. To construct the two circles, rocks were carried from the Akuya River, some five to seven kilometres east of the site.

Ceremonial stone circles first appeared at the beginning of Jomon era. Hundreds of stone circles and stone features have cropped up all over Japan. Elaborate stone circles were found at several sites in the Chubu region from the Middle Jomon era and archaeologists have discovered extremely large numbers in Hokkaido and northern Tohoku from the Late and Final Jomon era

(More about Stone Circles)

(With thanks to KASAHARA Kunio for his valuable input.)

(Prehistoric China)

(Prehistoric Korea)

(Prehistoric Pacific Islanders)



2). htto://
3). www.morien


About Us Homepage  |  A-Z Site Index  |  Gift Shop  |  Contact-Us