Vol. LXXVIII Sep. 1969 No. 9 Notes and Suggestions SHIGAKU-ZASSHI
By Takehiko Furuta
The controversy concerning the so-called country of Yamatai(邪馬台) has been the most extensive and protracted serious controversy in Japanese historical society.
Many investigators have been crowded and lots of their papers have been piled up for either side of the opposed theories, that are Kyushu (九州) -theory and Kinki (近畿) -theory. But we have not, yet reached to a conclusion.
The present writer believes that he found out a serious fault in the text-critique of the existing theories enough to upset the arguments from the ground.
The point is as follows.
The name of the country at issue is always printed as 「邪馬壹」 in any editions : of Sanguozhi (三国志) from the earliest time of Shaoxingben(紹興本) and Shaoxiben(紹熈本) of the Song period to much later days.
It was the revisers of the later day who changed 「邪馬壹」 to 「邪馬臺」, probably in consideration of the following three points.
(1) Houhanshu(後漢書) and other books of much later compilation than Sanguozhi always refer to the country of 「邪馬臺」 .
(2) It is possible to read 「邪馬臺」 as Yamato, and to think the country corresponds to the country of the same name in Japan.
(3) The forms of the characters「壹」 and 「臺」 are enough resembling to be confused within themselves.
The present writer, however, can not agree to this argument for the next three reasons.
(1) As an historical evidence, Sanguozhi which was compiled in the third century when the country of 「邪馬壹」 was existing should be put before Houhanshu and other books which compiled in and after the fifth century.
(2) We have no evidence of the existence of the country named Yamato in Japan as early as in the third century.
(3) There is no confusion at all between 「壹」 to 「臺」 in all the cases of their appearances in Sanguozhi.
The last fact was discovered by the present investigator. The consequence of the fact is that「壹」 to 「臺」are not easily confusable characters in Sanguozhi and so the country in question which existed in Japan in the third century should be named 「邪馬壹」 just as it was properly printed in all the editions of Sanguozhi. This conclusion is moreover strengthened by another fact which the present writer discovered that the name of 「邪馬臺」 was impossible to occur in Sanguozhi for some important speculative reasons.
Now the controversy should make a fresh start which has hitherto tried to locate the country of 「邪馬壹」 by misinterpreting it for the country of Yamato, at Yamato(大和) in Kinki (近畿) or at Yamato(山門) in Chikugo (築後) .
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Created by "Yukio Yokota"
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