The Hayato (隼人?), literally meaning "falcon-men", were a people of ancient Japan who lived in the Satsuma and Ōsumi regions of southern Kyushu until at least the Nara period. Due to the distinct nature of their manners and customs, they frequently resisted Yamato rule. After their subjugation they became subjects of the government under Ritsuryō, and the Ministry of the Military had an office known as the Hayato-shi (隼人司?) in charge of their governance. The name also came into use by samurai as a title, hayato no suke (隼人助?). In modern times, Hayato is a Japanese male given name.
History and culture
The Hayato may be the same as the Kumaso group of around the same time, but while the Kumaso are mentioned in the more legendary portions of the Nihon Shoki, the Hayato are recorded in various historical texts until the beginning of the Heian period. Though the Kumaso are generally portrayed as rebellious, Hayato are listed among the attendants of emperors and princes from as early as Emperor Nintoku's reign. This, along with a mention of Hayato crying before the grave of Emperor Yūryaku after his death, suggests that the Hayato were naturalized as personal servants by the late 7th century.
Even after pledging allegiance to the Japanese court, the Hayato continued to resist its rule. After the establishment of Ōsumi Province in 713, the Ōsumi Hayato fought back in 720 with the Hayato Rebellion, but were defeated in 721 by an army led by Ōtomo no Tabito. The Handen-Shūju system was implemented in their lands in 800. The population of Yamato immigrants in Kagoshima prefecture in the early 8th century has been estimated at around 9,000 people and one-seventh of the total population. By this estimate, the Hayato population of the time can be calculated as consisting of around 54,000 people (not including Hayato emigrants to Honshū).
The Hayato were made to emigrate to the Kinai region, and were active in the protection of the court, the arts, sumo, and bamboo work. Many lived in Yamashiro Province, in the south of modern Kyoto. There remains an area called Ōsumi (大住?) in Kyōtanabe, Kyoto, where many Ōsumi Hayato lived. These were the Hayato governed by the Hayato-shi.
The ethnic origin of the Hayato is uncertain. Some scholars have suggested that the Hayato are of Austronesian origin. Their culture and language are believed to have differed from those of other regions of Japan. In particular, their folk song and dance became famous in the Kinai region as the Hayato dance (隼人舞?). An excavation of Heijō Palace discovered wooden shields with a distinctive reverse-S-shaped marking. These shields match those described in the Engishiki, which the Hayato used in court ceremonial functions. The Hayato had roles in various state ceremonies, including those for the new year, imperial enthronement, and visiting foreign officials.
According to the ancient records of Hizen province, the Gotō Islands were also inhabited by a people resembling the Hayato. The New Book of Tang describes a minor king of Haya (波邪?), and this Haya has also been interpreted as referring to the Hayato.
There are three types of graves archaeologically associated with the Hayato: the underground tunnel tombs (地下式横穴墓?) widely distributed around the border of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, the standing stone graves (立石土壙墓?) of the southern Satsuma peninsula, and the underground stone-slab graves (地下式板石積石室?) found north of the Satsuma peninsula. Another large group of tunnel tombs is located near the Ōsumi area of Kyotanabe. Because of the proximity and because the gravelly soil of the area is not suited to such tombs, these may also be associated with the Hayato.
In Japanese mythology, the deity Umisachihiko is considered the ancestor of the ruler of the Ata Hayato. The Hayato Dance may be intended to portray Umisachihiko's pain at being outdone by his younger brother Yamasachihiko.
- Ata Hayato (阿多隼人?), or Satsuma Hayato
- A Hayato tribe who lived on the Satsuma Peninsula. Before the establishment of Satsuma Province, the area was known as Ata. The Nihon Shoki's section on 682 calls them the Ata Hayato, while the section of the Shoku Nihongi on the year 709 refers to them as the Satsuma Hayato.
- Ōsumi Hayato (大隅隼人?)
- A Hayato tribe who lived in the northern Ōsumi Peninsula, or by another theory the Kimotsuki plain region. They are mentioned in Nihon Shoki article on 682.
- Tane Hayato (多褹隼人?)
- A Hayato tribe who lived in Tane Province. In 702, the court dispatched an army and conquered the region.
- Koshiki Hayato (甑隼人?)
- A Hayato tribe who lived on the Koshikijima Islands. They are mentioned in the Shoku Nihongi's section on 769.
- Hyūga Hayato (日向隼人?)
- A Hayato tribe who lived in Hyūga Province. The Shoku Nihongi records that in 710, their leader Sonokimi no Hosomaro (曾君細麻呂?) submitted to the court and was awarded the rank of outside (外?) ju go-i no ge (従五位下?). However, this was before the separation of Ōsumi province from Hyūga Province in 713. The history of Usa Shrine records that later, in 719, the Ōsumi and Hyūga Hayato attacked Japan, perhaps a precursor to the rebellion of 720.
Anthropological research on human skeletons of the Kofun period on southern Kyushu has shown that male skeletons found inland differ from those on the Miyazaki plain. Inland skeletons resembled those of Jōmon people and northwestern Kyushu Yayoi people, and some groups on the plain also resembled northern Kyushu Yayoi people. In other words, there were skeletal differences between different regional groups of Hayato. Additionally, skeletons excavated from late Yayoi-period ruins on Tanegashima are smaller than those found on Kyushu, and show signs of artificial cranial deformation.
- William George Aston says this in his note, see Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697, translated from the original Chinese and Japanese by William George Aston. Book II, note 1, page 100. Tuttle Publishing. Tra edition (July 2005). First edition published 1972. ISBN 978-0-8048-3674-6
- One theory holds that the Hayato were descendants of the Kumaso. In recent years, though, the theory has taken root that because the "kuma" and "so" in "Kumaso" and the names of the Ata Hayato and Ōsumi Hayato all refer to regions of southern Kyushu, these may have been general names applied to several distinct cultural groups of rebellious locals by the Yamato court.Takemitsu, Makoto (1999). 古事記・日本書紀を知る事典 [Encyclopedia of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki] (in Japanese). 東京堂出版. p. 223. ISBN 4-490-10526-6.
- After the death of Emperor Nintoku one individual, named Sobakari in the Kojiki and Sashihire in the Nihon Shoki, assassinated the prince he served on the orders of another prince. However, he was then given sake and assassinated by the prince he had betrayed his master for. The story illustrates the use of Hayato as unofficial military forces.Sasayama, Haruo (1975). 古代国家と軍隊 皇軍と私兵の系譜 [The Nation and Army in Ancient Times: Genealogies of the Imperial and Private Armies] (in Japanese). 中公新書.
- The Japanese Society for Historical Studies (日本史教育研究会?) (2001). Story 日本の歴史 古代・中世・近世史編 [Story: A History of Japan - Ancient Times, the Middle Ages, and Recent Times] (in Japanese). 山川出版社. p. 62.
- Koyama Shūzō of the National Museum of Ethnology has mathematically estimated that the population of the Japanese islands during the Kofun period was approximately 5,400,000 people. Since the population even in the Nara period remained less than 6,000,000, the Hayato population may be assumed to be around one-hundredth of the total population of the islands. Kōichi Mori, ed. (1986). 日本の古代5『前方後円墳の世紀』 [Ancient Japan Part 5: The Age of Keyhole Kofun] (in Japanese). 中央公論社. p. 131. ISBN 4-12-402538-6.
- The Nihon Shoki records that in the court of Emperor Tenmu, in the late 7th century, the Hayato performed sumo in the court, but it is not described as different from the sumo of the Yamato themselves. In 682, the Ōsumi Hayato and Ata Hayato competed in sumo and the Ōsumi side won, and in 695 a bout of sumo between Hayato on the grounds of Asuka-dera drew a crowd of spectators.
- Kakubayashi, Fumio. 隼人 : オーストロネシア系の古代日本部族' Hayato : An Austronesian speaking tribe in southern Japan.'. The bulletin of the Institute for Japanese Culture, Kyoto Sangyo University, 3, pp.15-31 ISSN:13417207.
- The Hayato dance appears repeatedly in the Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, and Shoku Nihongi, performed on the occasion of paying tribute to the court and for the benefit of foreign visitors.
- Kadowaki, Teiji; Mori, Kōichi (1995). 古代史を解く『鍵（キーワード）』 [Keys to Understanding Ancient History] (in Japanese). 学生社. pp. 183–184. ISBN 4-311-20194-X.
- These underground tunnel tombs are focused around Hyūga, Ōsumi, and Satsuma, but the underground stone-slab graves are found mainly in the Satsuma region. Therefore, it is theoried that the former were widely used by various Hayato, while the latter were used specifically by the Ata Hayato. Yoshirō Kondō and Chōji Fujisawa, ed. (1966). 日本の考古学 IV 古墳時代 （上） [Archaeology in Japan IV: The Kofun Period (Part 1)] (in Japanese). 河出書房. p. 163.
- Tsugita, Masaki (2001) . 古事記 （上） 全訳注 [Complete Translated and Annotated Kojiki, Part 1] 38. 講談社学術文庫. p. 205. ISBN 4-06-158207-0.
- The latter theory is seen in volume 1 of the 1967 history of Kanoya City (鹿屋市史?)
- The Yayoi people of northwestern Kyushu are thought to be the descendants of the Jōmon people of the region, who adopted and naturalized into the Yayoi culture. In other words, the inland Hayato resembled Yayoi people of Jōmon descent. The mention in the Hizen ancient records of Hayato-like people in the Gotō islands can also be explained if we consider that they too were descended from northwestern Kyushuan Yayoi people. Ueda, Masaaki (1983). エコール・ド・ロイヤル 古代日本を考える 『日本古代史の謎再考』 (in Japanese). 学生社. p. 52.
- Matsushita, Takayuki (1990). 南九州における古墳時代人骨の人類学的研究 [Anthropological Research on Human Skeletal Remains from the Kofun Period in Southern Kyushu] (in Japanese).
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