Did Ancient Hairy Hobbits Once Inhabit A Japanese Island?

Cryptomundo discusses evidence, including tiny tools and bizarre pit dwellings, that supports legends of tiny elfin people living on the island of Hokkaido:

A commonly occurring phenomenon seen in the folklore and myth of a wide range of cultures throughout the world is the existence of miniature humanoid creatures [Faeries, dwarves, leprechauns, or by whatever other names they are known].

On the island of Hokkaido, in the cold northern reaches of the Japanese archipelago, the indigenous Ainu people too have their long traditions of an ancient race of dwarf-like people thought to have inhabited the land long before humans arrived. The Ainu knew these creatures as the Koropokkuru…most commonly translated as “the people who live under the burdock leaves.” Most commonly Koropokkuru are described as being rather hairy and odiferous.

Was there any truth to any of these stories of small, humanoid creatures living in the wilds of Hokkaido, and if so what were they?

There has been some scattered evidence proposed over the years. Archeologists have found evidence of strange pit dwellings all over Japan that are consistent with the stories of the Koropokkuru dwellings, but not consistent with the Ainu, who have always lived in thatched houses. These pits have often been found to contain stone implements not typical of the Ainu, as well as mysterious tools that seem too small to be comfortable or efficient for normal human-sized hands.

Another archeological find that has been used in the past to support the existence of the Koropokkuru was made in 1877 by Edward S. Morse, one of the first to conduct proper archeological investigations in Japan. At a site known as the Ōmori shell mound, Morse found an array of anthropologically significant pottery in that it did not fit in with what was known about Ainu culture.

Many cultures around the world have long reported the existence of half-sized, hairy hominids lurking in the wilds of the world. These undersize hominids are known to many cryptozoologists as “Proto-Pygmies.” The possible existence of such seemingly fantastical creatures got a shot in the arm with the discovery of remains of a race of miniature hominids found on Flores Island in the Indonesian archipelago.

Research done on the relatively complete remains of a female specimen referred to as LB1, or the “Little Lady of Flores,” has shown that this full grown adult stood at a height of just 106cm (3 ft 11inches). It has also been established that these creatures were not merely dwarfed regular humans, but rather representatives of a completely new species of diminutive hominins. Perhaps just as surprising as the existence of these creatures is that specimens found thus far have been dated as being 90,000 to 18,000 years old, which makes them contemporaneous with modern humans.

Is it possible that Homo floresiensis, or their ancestors, possibly Homo erectus, spread out throughout Oceania and evolved in isolation into the many kinds of Proto-Pygmies reported today from these far flung places? If so, could such creatures not have made it to other parts of the Pacific as well, including Japan?

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  • Nunzio X

    I don’t know about little people on Hokkaido, but I can tell you this:

    I used to go out with a sex-crazed midget woman…she kept trying to go up on me.

    (Joke stolen from Murray Langston, AKA The Unknown Comic)

    Thank you. I’ll be here all weekend. Be sure to tip the wait staff. And try the veal.

    • Karon Reiter

       That was very funny.

    • Karon Reiter

       That was very funny.

  • Marumaru88

    My mom said I have some Ainu blood. I don’t know too much about them other than they interbred with the Japanese. They’re known to have more caucasian-like qualities such as softer ear wax (asians tend to have more thicker ear wax). They were/are still discriminated against til this day. I think there may be only about 15,000 Ainu people with Ainu blood left, not sure.

    • Calypso_1

      The Ainu are a fascinating people, with many connections to cultures in Siberia.  You should look into your heritage.  It’s a great misfortune that they, like so many other people groups, have been oppressed by more dominant cultures when now we struggle to preserve what little knowledge remains for the benefit of mankind’s common heritage.

      • Jin The Ninja

        i find the ainu, interesting to myself also. and i will shoot you a reply to your comment re: hierarchies when i find my copy of a bookchin i want to reference.

      • Jin The Ninja

        i find the ainu, interesting to myself also. and i will shoot you a reply to your comment re: hierarchies when i find my copy of a bookchin i want to reference.

        • Calypso_1

          Cool.  I saw that part II of the article was on the observation of complex systems in nature  – so I was setting up a line of discussion that I can tie into that.  I figure the article is going to have to take some of the chaos aspect of anarchy (as that is one of the main factors of dynamical systems).  Thats when you get into a lot of biological and ecological systems theory.  I don’t want to flood you with science in a discussion, we won’t be useing any math : )  But I believe it will interesting to take your social science knowledge and blend it with the language of some of the biosystems that I have.

        • Calypso_1

          Cool.  I saw that part II of the article was on the observation of complex systems in nature  – so I was setting up a line of discussion that I can tie into that.  I figure the article is going to have to take some of the chaos aspect of anarchy (as that is one of the main factors of dynamical systems).  Thats when you get into a lot of biological and ecological systems theory.  I don’t want to flood you with science in a discussion, we won’t be useing any math : )  But I believe it will interesting to take your social science knowledge and blend it with the language of some of the biosystems that I have.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Given the current existence of remaining ‘pygmy’ peoples and the distances between their various tiny outposts…its not a stretch of the imagination to say that homo florensis may have been wider spread than we realized. Homo sapiens sapiens has had quite a few cousins that lived alongside them…and possibly among them. Anything that would give us a window into that lost era would be a godsend at this point.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Given the current existence of remaining ‘pygmy’ peoples and the distances between their various tiny outposts…its not a stretch of the imagination to say that homo florensis may have been wider spread than we realized. Homo sapiens sapiens has had quite a few cousins that lived alongside them…and possibly among them. Anything that would give us a window into that lost era would be a godsend at this point.

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