While there has been much debate about the underlying language of Linear A (LinA) (also 線文字A, Γραμμικη Α), I disagree that LinA does not resemble a known language. Despite its similarities to Japanese, historical linguists dismiss a correlation for at least two reasons: they cite both (1) the universally held belief that LinA is an Indo-European language and (2) the apparent lack of genetic evidence. Regarding the first justification, Minoan scholarship generally agrees that the Minoans migrated from the Anatolian region**, which suggests an Altaic origin or influence. Likewise, Japanese scholarship suggests that Japanese belongs to the Japonic language family, which is believed to have an Altaic origin or influence. Regarding the second justification, if linguists are looking to mainland Japan for genetic evidence, they are looking too far north. By whatever means, it appears that, around 1000 BCE, the Minoans entered Japan from the southern islands, and gradually moved north.
General consensus dates the demise of the high Minoan civilization as late as 3,500 years ago, with the widespread destruction of the palace centers, while Neil Gordon Munro dates the commencement of the Yamato culture, which is the presumed progenitor of modern Japanese civilization, as early as 3,000 years ago. According to Munro, the origin of the Yamato culture is unknown but had arrived in a highly advanced state. The culture is notable for its grave goods–bronze arrowheads, bells, and halberds. The culture is also known for its wheel-thrown pottery, which employed “restrained” decoration with “subdued color” [1908: 4].
The Okinawan Japanese remain culturally, genetically, and linguistically distinct from the mainland (Yamato) Japanese, although the two cultures are believed to share a common proto language. This forum will provide support–through disciplines such as archaeology, architecture, art, genetics, and language–for my dual theories that LinA is proto Japanese and that the Minoan civilization provides a rich backdrop for Japanese history, which, for millennia, has been shrouded in mystery.
- Munro, Neil Gordon. 1908. Prehistoric Japan.
AN OPEN INVITATION TO SCHOLARS:
There are numerous leads that invite unprecedented scholarship into the Minoan/Japanese affinity. The aim of this forum is to coordinate these global efforts. If you have a scholarship interest, please contact me so that I can post a notice for other like-minded individuals. If you have a general interest, I can offer leads that speak to your scholarship interests. This forum is formatted to publish scholarly articles that permit peer review via CrossRef. However, you do not need academic affiliation to publish on this forum; I invite all interested individuals. Nevertheless, I do require that all authors use professional names rather than internet user-names to post articles and comments.