Studies in Tamil-Japanese relationship continues

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 January 2011, 07:19 GMT]
Following decades-long work of the late Prof Susumu Ohno, another Japanese academic, Prof Tsutomo Kampe pursues the study on the relationship between Tamil and Japanese. “There are more than 500 Tamil words in Japanese,” he was cited saying by The Times of India Tuesday. Meanwhile, emeritus Professor of Tamil of the University of Jaffna, A. Sanmugadas and Mrs. Manonmani Sanmugadas who were working along with Ohno since 1983 have recently come out with a resource guide, Tamil-Japanese Relationship, brought out by Institute of Asian Studies in Chennai, commemorating its silver jubilee.

Even though located very close to each other, Japanese and Chinese are fundamentally different languages while Japanese and Tamil are closer in phonetics, semantics and in other aspects of linguistics, say researchers.

Right from early 20th century scholars have identified the resemblances.

Some theorise that an early wave people common to Dravidians and Japanese, who migrated through a land route in prehistoric times, were responsible for the resemblances. In recent times some genetic studies have also been made in this regard. Meanwhile, there are other theories that focus on an early maritime spread.

Besides the languages, the early urn burials of Japan, called the Yayoi burials and the megalithic burials of South India also have many affinities. Striking similarities have been noticed in the graffiti writing found on the pottery of both the burial cultures.

 

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