Below is the alternative poster for the Jomon vs. Yayoi exhibit. I recently found an article by Mr. Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond on the origins of the Japanese, and after examining linguistic, archeological and DNA evidence, he concludes — brace yourself, young ones — that the Japanese are primarily descendants from Korean immigrants of the Yayoi period (D’oh!).
I’ve always considered this highly political debate from a boring historical-linguistic angle, and what’s fascinated me recently is the idea that the languages of Paekche and Koguryo — which were different than the proto-Korean language of Shilla — could be the missing link between Japanese and Korean. Unfortunately, these languages are long extinct, and any musings on this matter are little more than speculation. But don’t fight girls, maybe we can find some new theory of Jomon-Yayoi interaction that makes the Japanese into some adequately “unique” ethnicity.