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11.04.2007 

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A Japanese scholar on Tuesday (April 10) stressed the importance of searching for historical truth in his special lecture at a university in Korea.

"Archeology is a study of finding the truth in history. Sometimes I get threatened by my writing or have viruses spread all over my computer because of it."

Okuno Masao (76), a well known archeologist from Japan, spoke at a special lecture at Ulsan University, recounting Japans' own experience with the Shinichi Fujimura case less than a decade ago

Known as Japan's biggest archeological hoax, it all started when amateur archeologist Shinichi Fujimura announced his discovery of 40,000-year-old prehistoric artifacts at the Kamitakamori ruins in Miyagi Prefecture in 1981. From then on, he had a run of successes -- discovering ancient relics that continued to change the whole perception of Japanese history. Fujimura went as far as earning the reputation "Divine Hands" for his continuous good luck and was named a deputy director of the Tohoku Paleolithic Institute.

Lauded for pulling back the origin of Japanese history as far as 700,000 years, his works soon became the basis of various textbooks and archeological theses in Japan. Fujimura, proud of his feat, even held nationwide tour with his newfound Stone Age tools.

Then in October 2000, the Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun caught Fujimura and his team digging holes and burying artifacts that the same members later "discovered" the next day. This triggered further investigations leading to the discovery that all the artifacts that Fujimura unearthed in over 160 sites from Hokkaido to Kanto were frauds.

"It's still hard to understand how the best professors from the top universities in Japan released theses based on this fake artifacts and re-wrote history textbooks," Okuno said in his lecture the same day. "The whole country was being taught incorrect history yet no one is being held responsible," he said criticizing both academic circles and state officials.

At the 58th Mainichi Newspaper Award for Publication and Culture in 2004, he won the Humanities and Social Science Award for his book "The Gods of Dirty Hands" (Kamigami no Yogoreta Te). He formed a civic gathering that is currently in the process of suing the government for the serious administrative blunder for allowing such fabrication to take place for two decades.

Masao also pointed out it was Japan's ideology toward its emperor and the royal family that made such forgeries easy and continues to stand as an obstacle to development of archeology in Japan.

He added that it is also a matter of great concern that Okamura Michio, a former culture ministry official who took part in the Fujimura forgery, is now in charge of the investigation bureau for Nara Prefecture's Cultural Properties Research Institute. The institute preserves the Takamatsuzuka Tomb. whose mural paintings have been traced back to the style of Goguryeo, Korea's ancient kingdom that lasted from 37 B.C. - A.D. 668.

Masao further gained the attention of his audience by saying the Japanese claims on the Korean island group Dokdo are unjustified and that the Japanese government forced women to serve as sex slaves in military brothels during World War II.

In early March this year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denied women were forced to work as sex slaves for imperial Japanese soldiers, attracting much criticism from abroad.

Masao was a former visiting professor to Ulsan University who taught Japanese history and folk art in 2005. This year's special lecture was held in line with his donation of his 55,000 books to the same university. Over 200 students came to listen to the day's lecture.

Источник:  korea.net


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