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This Question Came to My Inbox: Are the Okinawans hairy?

Initially, this seems like a funny question, but the person who asked it must realize there are different races in Japan, not just the oriental people who showed up centuries ago from China and became the Japanese people. The original people in Japan were the Ainu and the Ryukyuan. The Ainu and the Ryukyuan are related to one another. Their culture is different from the culture of the rest of the Japanese and they also don’t really look oriental. Some people groups are hairier than others. Europeans are a hairy lot. Many American Indian men can’t grow beards, and some have no eye lashes. Mainland Japanese from Honshu and the Koreans are like the American Indians as far as not having so much hair. The men can grow beards, but not all of them, especially not big bushy beards like Europeans and Africans can get. The Ryukyuan are not the same race as the people from Honshu, the main island, and they can grow beards easily.

There is lots of snow in Hokkaido where the Ainu are from. Photo by Radu Andrei Razvan on Pexels.com

The Ainu live up north in Japan, in Hokkaido where it snows a lot. They are short, have black hair, and tanned skins. However, some can look white because there isn’t much sun there, mostly snow. The men are very hairy and can grow thick beards. They are related to the Ryukyuan from Okinawa. Many Ainu have intermarried with the main population of Japan who live on Honshu, the big main island that most people think of as Japan.

When you think of Japanese, you probably think of the people from Honshu, the main island because they are mostly of Chinese descent. Photo by Quốc Bảo on Pexels.com

The people on the main island, Honshu, are the ones who are mostly the oriental Japanese who came there centuries ago from China. Some of them are not only intermarried with the Ainu, but also with the Ryukyuan from Okinawa.

There are lots of water sports on Okinawa, and my Japanese son in law used to be a scuba diving instructor. Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

My Japanese son in law is from Okinawa, but he looks like someone from the mainland, Honshu. His family is in a minority from Okinawa. In fact, he says several generations back, he has a German grandfather somewhere, and he thinks that is why he is taller than other Japanese and has bigger eyes, but he looks 100% oriental. His mother has trouble with freckles and wavy hair, and they think that comes from the German ancestor, but their family is very oriental like the people on Honshu, but they live on Okinawa. Many people from Okinawa are intermarried with foreigners. I heard about them many years ago, and it seems they have intermarried more than the other groups in Japan. The Ryukyuan are the original group that were therefrom the beginning on Okinawa. They are not Orientals. Their eyes look more like someone from Europe. They have black hair, dark eyes, and tanned skin. If they didn’t spend so much time in the sun, they may be whiter like the Ainu and the people from Honshu. However, from talking to my Japanese son in law, I understand there are a lot of water sports going on Okinawa because it is a small island with lots of beaches and is warmer than Honshu. My Japanese son in law says there are even huge flying cockroaches on Okinawa that come with the hotter weather. It is not the same as Honshu at all. The Ryukyuan are such a small people group the Japanese people really don’t think of them as different, and they have intermarried with the people from Honshu a lot. They are on Okinawa, sprinkled all through Honshu, and on all the small surrounding islands. Their culture is slightly different from the people on Honshu, the main island. Since they are related to the Ainu, and I know the Ainu to be hairy people, I would say the Ryukyu are probably just as hairy.

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