Mitsuo Kagawa

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Mitsuo Kagawa (賀川 光夫?, Kagawa Mitsuo, January 5, 1923 – March 9, 2001) was a Japanese archaeologist and a professor at Beppu University in Ōita Prefecture, Japan. He committed suicide by hanging himself on March 9, 2001.


Kagawa majored in archeology, with a focus in the Japanese Paleolithic period. In 1962 he led an excavation at the Hijiridaki cave site (聖嶽洞窟遺跡) in Ōita Prefecture. The team claimed that they discovered ancient human bones and stone tools dating back to the Paleolithic era, but later in 1999 other researchers questioned this conclusion and argued that the claim could not be proven.[1] In a series of articles by the Japanese magazine Bungeishunjū published on January 25,[2] February 1 and March 15, 2001, it was alleged that the stone tools discovered at the site were fabrication and indicated Kagawa had been involved in that hoax. He committed suicide and left a suicide note to proclaim his innocence.

His family filed a defamation suit against Shūkan Bunshun the same year. The Ōita district Court and the Fukuoka High Court ordered the magazine to pay the damages and issue an apology to the family of Kagawa. The magazine appealed to the Supreme Court although the appeal was rejected in September 2004. An apology statement was published on September 2, 2004, issue.

On October 25, 2003, a project team from the Japanese Archaeological Association stated that they could not find any evidence to make judgments whether there was a fabrication or not.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Publisher appeals Kagawa ruling, the Japan Times, May 20, 2003
  2. ^ 「第二の神の手」が大分「聖嶽人」周辺にいる!? , 週刊文春, 1月25日号
  3. ^ 「ねつ造証明できず」 聖嶽洞穴遺跡で考古学協会(Dead Link), 共同通信, 2003年10月26日

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