2004 Volume 112 Issue 2 Pages 147-159
In the northwestern Kyushu area, at the southwestern region of the mainland of Japan, a native people of Jomon lineage lived during the Aeneolithic Yayoi period, and differed morphologically from the immigrant people of continental lineage of the northern Kyushu area. In this study, the metric and nonmetric characteristics of 204 modern female crania from northwestern Kyushu were examined in order to investigate their morphological characteristics and lineage relationships by comparing them with several modern Japanese, Ryukyuan, Hokkaido Ainu, Korean, Chinese, and northern and northwestern Kyushu Yayoi and Jomon cranial series. The craniometric characteristics of the northwestern Kyushu Japanese females were found to be similar to those of the mainland Japanese, as well as to those of Koreans, Chinese, and the northern Kyushu Yayoi, but differed somewhat from the Ryukyuan and Hokkaido Ainu conditions, and distinctly diverged from the northwestern Kyushu Yayoi and Jomon conditions. The results of multivariate analyses of nonmetric traits coincided generally with those of the craniometrical analyses; however, the northwestern Kyushu Japanese was found to be relatively close to the Ryukyuans, and markedly remote from the Hokkaido Ainu. These findings suggest that the northwestern Kyushu Japanese possess morphological traits in common with other mainland Japanese populations due to genetic influences of the continental lineage during or after the protohistoric Kofun period.