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Eurasian nomads conquest dynasty theory

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The Horserider Theory discusses the early state in Japan. It believes the fifth-century Ojin Dynasty at the Kawachi Court was influenced by riders from the Korean peninsula. This changed the region's social and political dynamics and the items in monumental tombs.[1]


Fifth-century tombs from the Middle Kofun period (Kofun III) are large. They have many moats and deposits of iron tools and weapons. Fewer bronze mirrors are found, and more tools appear. This shows a change in elite status symbols.[1]

The region saw changes in territory. Small political groups from the Early Kofun period joined under the Kawachi Court. This made the first regional political group called "Yamato." Its base was in Kawachi. Many think Yamato started outside the Kinai region, likely from riders from Korea.[1]

Egami Namio supports the Horserider Theory. He says the early Japanese state came from conquest. He thinks riders caused this conquest. The evidence is the large tombs and their items.[1]


Many Japanese archaeologists challenge the theory. They say horse items appear too late to explain the early fifth-century tombs. Historians have other concerns. They question the focus on Central Asian people and the interpretation of history.[1]

Others think the theory overemphasizes sudden change. They think slow cultural interactions make more sense. Some believe the state formed through cultural changes, not just one conquest event. Other ideas say the fifth-century changes came from conflicts with Kyushu. This led to new trade with Korea.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Barnes, Gina; Barnes, Gina L. (1988). Protohistoric Yamato. Ann Arbor, MI: U OF M CENTER FOR JAPANESE STUDIES. pp. 16–31. ISBN 978-0-915703-11-1. Search this book on


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