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The Japanese Face

We really enjoyed reading your article “The Japanese Face” [written by David Yamaguchi in the April 28 edition]. My husband is half Japanese and has been mistaken for Romanian, Mexican and Korean, among other ancestries. He signed up for 23 and Me as well as the National Geographic genome project. I pasted the info from each below and attached the 23 and Me info to this message.

23 and Me

N9a is widespread in central and eastern Asia but extremely rare. Its only concentrations are among indigenous inhabitants of the Malay peninsula. The haplogroup is found at levels well below 10% from southern China to Mongolia and Kazakhstan [above].

National Geographic

Your First Reference Population: Chinese – This reference population is based on samples collected from the population of Beijing, China. The 72% Northeast Asian and 28% Southeast Asian percentages are representative of migrations in East Asia, with the Northeast Asian component likely coming from the earliest settlers in eastern Siberia and northern China, and the Southeast Asian component reflecting mixing with groups that originated further south.

It’s interesting to do ancestry genotyping. We were surprised that he shares the most DNA with Malaysians. If you haven’t already done so, I bet that it would be enlightening.
I believe that most human migration was not voluntary. People were captured and enslaved, fleeing war and starvation or cast out from their lands.

–Madeline Mullen and Edward Lowe

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David Yamaguchi has written for the NAP since 2006, at first as a volunteer, then as a paid freelancer (2016-2020),then as a staff writer/editor (2020-2023). He is presently executive director of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington (JASSW).