Shinichi Fujimura
Shinichi Fujimura is a Japanese former amateur archaeologist
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 who claimed he had found a large number of stone artifacts dating back to the Lower Paleolithic
Lower Paleolithic
The Lower Paleolithic is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. It spans the time from around 2.5 million years ago when the first evidence of craft and use of stone tools by hominids appears in the current archaeological record, until around 300,000 years ago, spanning the...

 and Middle Paleolithic
Middle Paleolithic
The Middle Paleolithic is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. The term Middle Stone Age is used as an equivalent or a synonym for the Middle Paleolithic in African archeology. The Middle Paleolithic and the Middle Stone Age...

 periods. These objects were later revealed as forgeries
Archaeological forgery
Archaeological forgery is the manufacture of supposedly ancient items that are sold to the antiquities market and may even end up in the collections of museums. It is related to art forgery....



Fujimura was born in Kami, Miyagi
Kami, Miyagi
is a town located in Kami District, Miyagi, Japan.As of June 1, 2010, the town has an estimated population of 25,709 and a population density of 55.8 persons per km². The total area is 460.82 km²....

 in 1950. After graduating from a high school in Sendai, he obtained a job in a manufacturing company. He became intrigued by archaeology when he was a child, finding shards of Jōmon ware in the backyard of his house.

In 1972 Fujimura began to study archaeology and to look for Paleolithic artifact
Artifact (archaeology)
An artifact or artefact is "something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest"...

s during his holidays. He became acquainted with some amateur and academic archaeologists in Sendai and they founded a NGO group, Sekki Bunka Kenkyukai in 1975. The group discovered and excavated many Paleolithic stone artifacts in Miyagi prefecture, such as at Zazaragi site in 1981, Nakamine C site in 1983 and Babadan A site in 1984. From a cross-dating investigation of the stratum
In geology and related fields, a stratum is a layer of sedimentary rock or soil with internally consistent characteristics that distinguish it from other layers...

 these stone tools were estimated to be about 50,000 years old.

He established his reputation as a leading amateur archaeologist because he found most of the artifacts on his own. He even became known as the archaeologist with the "divine hands".

After this success, he participated in 180 archaeological digs in northern Japan and almost always found artifacts, their age becoming increasingly older. Based on his discoveries the history of the Japanese Paleolithic
Japanese Paleolithic
The began around 50,000 to 30,000 BC, when the earliest stone tool implements have been found, and continued to around 14,000 BC, at the end of the last ice age, which corresponds to the beginning of the Mesolithic Jōmon period...

 period was extended to about 30,000 years. Most of the archaeologists did not question Fujimura's work and this discovery was written in the history textbook
A textbook or coursebook is a manual of instruction in any branch of study. Textbooks are produced according to the demands of educational institutions...

s. Later he gained a position as a deputy director at the private NGO group Tohoku Paleolithic Institute.


Despite the acquiescence from the archeologists, some geologists and anthropologists claimed the discovery was dubious and lacked consistency with the geologic analysis of the sites.

Toshiki Takeoka at the Kyoritsu Joshi University
Kyoritsu Women's University
is a private women's college in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan, established in 1949.-History:The predecessor of the school, a vocational school, was founded in 1886...

 published an article
Stone artifacts which were recently discovered at Japanese Upper Paleolithic sites, such as Kamitakamori site are so different from the characteristics of these Upper Paleolithic stones. (...) Those are the same as the stone shafts of the Jōmon period
Jomon period
The is the time in Japanese prehistory from about 14,000 BC to 300 BC.The term jōmon means "cord-patterned" in Japanese. This refers to the pottery style characteristic of the Jōmon culture, and which has markings made using sticks with cords wrapped around them...

 in their shape or fabrication method. (...) This site and their archaeological finds are undoubtedly abnormal, a kind of OOPARTS.

Shizuo Oda and Charles T. Keally also mentioned some peculiarities in their article
After talking to the principal investigators, OKAMURA and KAMATA, and a thorough study of the relevant publications and the lithics themselves, we have concluded that no proven artifacts of human origin predating 30,000 B. P. exist in Miyagi prefecture. The claims of OKAMURA, KAMATA, and some other Miyagi archaeologists that they have discovered a "Lower Palaeolithic" are based on flawed research and are dubious claims.


On October 23, 2000, Fujimura and his team announced that they had another finding at the Kamitakamori site near Tsukidate town
Kurihara, Miyagi
is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 77,012 and a population density of 95.7 persons per km². The total area is 804.93 km². Previously a district consisting of nine towns and one village, on April 1, 2005, the towns and village...

. The finds were estimated to be 570,000 years old.

On November 5, 2000, the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun
Mainichi Shimbun
The is one of the major newspapers in Japan, published by .-History:The history of the Mainichi Shimbun begins with founding of two papers during the Meiji period. The Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun was founded first, in 1872. The Mainichi claims that it is the oldest existing Japanese daily newspaper...

 published pictures of Fujimura digging holes and burying the artifacts his team later found. The pictures had been taken one day before the finding was announced. Fujimura admitted his forgery in an interview with the newspaper.

Fujimura confessed and apologized the same day in a press conference. He said that he had been "possessed by an uncontrollable urge". He had planted the artifacts from his own collection in strata that would have indicated earlier dates. In Kamitakamori he had planted 61 of 65 artifacts, and had earlier planted all of the stonework in the Soshin Fudozaka site in Hokkaidō
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

. He claimed that these were the only times he had planted artifacts.

The Japanese Archaeological Association disaffiliated Fujimura from its members. A special investigation team of the Association revealed that almost all the artifacts which he had found were his fabrication.


In a series of articles in the Japanese magazine Shukan Bunshun published on January 25, February 1 and March 15, 2001, the magazine alleged that the stone tools discovered at the Hijiridaki cave site (聖嶽洞窟遺跡) in Ōita Prefecture
Oita Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan on Kyūshū Island. The prefectural capital is the city of Ōita.- History :Around the 6th century Kyushu consisted of four regions: Tsukushi-no-kuni 筑紫国, Hi-no-kuni 肥国, and Toyo no kuni...

 had also been forgeries, and indicated that Mitsuo Kagawa
Mitsuo Kagawa
was a Japanese archaeologist and a professor at Beppu University in Ōita Prefecture, Japan. He committed suicide by hanging himself on March 9, 2001.- Life :...

, a professor at Beppu University
Beppu University
is a private university in Ōita Prefecture, Japan. It has campuses at the cities of Beppu and Ōita.The predecessor of the school was founded in 1908, and it was chartered as a university in 1954.-External links:*...

, had been involved in that hoax. Kagawa committed suicide and left a suicide note in which he pleaded his innocence.

His family filed a defamation suit against Shukan Bunshun the same year. The Ōita district Court and the Fukuoka High Court decided to order the magazine to pay the damages and issue an apology to the family of Kagawa. The magazine appealed to the Supreme Court of Japan
Supreme Court of Japan
The Supreme Court of Japan , located in Chiyoda, Tokyo is the highest court in Japan. It has ultimate judicial authority to interpret the Japanese constitution and decide questions of national law...

, although the appeal was rejected in September 2004. An apology statement was published in the September 2, 2004 issue.

External links

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