- Yamato people
Infobox Ethnic group
group = Yamato
population = 100,000,000+
languages = Japanese
The nihongo|Yamato people|大和民族|Yamato-minzoku are the dominant native
ethnic groupof Japan. It is a term that came to be used around the late 19th century to distinguish the residents of the mainland Japanfrom other minority ethnic groups who have resided in the peripheral areas of Japan such as Ainu, Ryukyuans, Nivkhs, Uilta, as well as Koreans, Taiwanese, and Taiwanese aborigineswho were incorporated into the Empire of Japanin the early 20th century.
The name "Yamato" comes from the Yamato Court that existed in Japan in the 4th century. It was originally the name of the region where the Yamato people first settled in
Nara Prefecture. In the 6th century, the Yamato people founded a state modeled on the Chinese states of Sui and Tang which were the most advanced polities in Asia at the time. As the Yamato's influence expanded on the island, their language replaced Old Japanesebecoming the common spoken language. Ryukyuan, the languages of the Ryukyu Islands, split from Old Japanese somewhere between the 3rd and 5th centuries.
There is however a controversy on whether to include the Ryukyuans in the Yamato, or identify them as an independent ethnic group, or as a sub-group that constitutes Japanese ethnicity together with the Yamato because of close similarities suggested by genetics and linguistics. nihongo|Shinobu Origuchi|折口信夫|Origuchi Shinobu argues that Ryukyuans are the nihongo|"proto-Japanese"|原日本人|gen nippon jin, whereas Kunio Yanagita suggests that they were a part of the ancestors of the Japanese who came from the south and parted at the
Ryukyu Islandsfrom the rest who eventually reached the Japanese archipelago and became the Yamato.
Ethnic issues in Japan
* Ryukyuan people
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