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  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Post What's the origin of the Japanese people ?

    Like Kjeld mention it in another thread, there has been a lot of migrations from the Asian mainland to the islands of Indonesia and Japan during the ice age. I recommend a very good book on the development and migration of human societies : Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond.

    Indonesians, Malaysians and Philipinos actually originate from Southern China. They'd have migrated on boats via Taiwan and displace the original inhabitants that might have been related to Dravidians of Southern India. In Papua-New Guinea, the indigenous people were more numerous and well settled, so that they had to go around them and continued to Polynesia (all the pacific islands) and New Zealand. With pimitive boats, they were able to travel as far as Hawai or the Easter Islands. Linguistically, all polynesian languages, from Hawai to the Fiji and New Zealand, via the Marianias, Kiribati, Tuvalu, etc. are closely related. They are related to Indonesians languages as well. Differences between regions increase with the time they were settled, not the distance between them. So, 2 groups of islands in the pacific might be 500km away, but the inhabitants of one may only have been settled a few generations away by inhabitants of the other group.

    Indonesians ?

    I have noticed myself quite a few similarities between Bahasa Indonesia/Malaysia and Japanese language. Apart from the very similar pronounciation in both languages, there is the same hierarchical differences in personal pronouns. For example "you" is either "anda" or "kamu" with the same meaning and wa of using as "anata" and "kimi" in Japanese. Likewise, "suki" D‚« (to like) translates "suka" in Bahasa. Such similarities are striking. In both languages you can make a plural by doubling the word, like wareware in Japanese (ware = I or you, wareware = we). Doubling of words is so common that there is a kanji that only means the word is doubled(" X") in written Japanese. However, it is more common in Bahasa nowadays where it is almost systematical. Expressions like "ittekimasu, itteirashai, tadaima and okaeri" also exist in Indonesian (selamat jalan, selamat tinggal...), but not in European languages. I am not a specialist of any of these languages at all. I barely know a few words in Indonesian, but it's enough to see the link with Japanese.

    Japanese matsuri ressembles so much Balinese ones that one could wonder if they are actually the same country. I've seen a cremation in Bali ; they cary the dead body very much like Japanese carry a mikoshi. Balinese funerals are joyful and people swinging the "mikoshi" in the streets and making loud noise to scare the evil sprits. Basically, Bali is Hindu, but has mixed it with the original animist religion. Shinto is also an animisn, and we can see lots of other cultural similarities between non-muslim/non-christian Indonesia and non-buddhist Japan. For example, the wall and entrance around traditional houses and the style of Balinese temples and Japanese shrines. Buddhism, Islam and Christianity all arrived much later after the supposed original ancestors of the 2 archipelago split from each other, but have changed radically both societies. We have to look for the purely original culture (what might be very difficult nowadays) to find the connection existing in late prehistoric time.

    Koreans ?

    Japanese and Korean grammar are very similar. My Koreans acquaintances in Japan told me that some words were also almost identical, such as kazoku, sentaku or hakkiri. Both languages are classsified in the Altaic group of languages. Check this comparison of Altaic languages together.

    About half of Japanese vocabulary comes from Chinese via kanji compounds. However, it seems that there hasn't been any much direct migration from China to Japan, except a few scholars or monks. But ultimately, going back a few millenia, all East Asian are from Chinese-Mongolian origin. Linguistically and culturally, Japanese are closer to Koreans and Indonesians.
    Last edited by Maciamo; Sep 9, 2002 at 15:24.

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  2. #2
    Decommissioned ex-admin thomas's Avatar
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    Doubling of words is so common that there is a kanji that only means the word is doubled(" X") in written Japanese.
    Orang orang = orang²



    Thanks for your excellent exposé, Maciamo!

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    Regular Member moyashi's Avatar
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    hehe, the turtle boy story and the lost island of Atlantis finds proof in more of maciamo's posts

    Have you found anything more about the Mongolian influence? I know that linguistically both Mongolians and Japanese share deep connections. Let alone appearance wise some are difficult to differienciate. Hmmm, WWI + WWII influences?
    crazy gonna crazy

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    Regular Member hua he's Avatar
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    well actually

    suki in Japanese have the same meaning with suka in Malay
    Well, actually the Malay term "suka" was translated directly from Hokkien dialect into Malay.

    There is a group of people in Malaysia called "Baba" (also called Peranakan). They are mix-blooded descendants of Malay-Chinese (mostly Hokkien). So, Malay absorbed many Hokkien words into their language, like "pangkin" "di mana". The word "suka" in Hokkien and Malay have the same meaning.
    Sayonara!

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    Junior Member dark_masamune's Avatar
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    i know from what i've studied, i believe the oldest known skeleton found in japan was believed to be at least 400,000 years old. there's a popular idea that because the japanese are much taller than their asian neighbors, there might have been some siberian influence, maybe even european at some point. correct me if im wrong, but the Ainu, being the indegnious class of japan shared alot of characteristics that weren't "typical asian." i also read in another book that some types of tools were excavated in northern honshu that didn't appear to be japanese at all, but norse. with language, the same can be considered of the entire world. it changes with times, based on legitamacy in religion, leadership, ect. not to mention being modified over such a long period of time. its my opinion that it did derive from korean and chinese influence, maybe brought with the first buddists. and eventually added on to. mexican spanish is another great example. spaniards taught the aztrecs their language for trade and missionary purpose but today its more or so a refined mexi-spainish-aztec language. adhering to their own culture and grammar.

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    Plural?

    Hello Maciamo,

    probably I don't know much more about Bahasa Indonesia than you (and maybe I should better ask my Indonesian friends) but I think that doubling is not a plural in a grammtical sense but gives "enhanced" meaning to words. Word e.g. is kata but kata-kata is not just words but a sentence, orang is person but orang-orang may refer to a tribe or nation (actually orang alone already means people and I experienced Indonesians to use "people" for a single person), jalan is the street and jalan-jalan might be journey (using many roads probably) or means to take a walk (maybe also detour but I cannot remember). At least that is how I understood it.

    Regard the similarity of suka and suki.: This also struck me in one of my first Japanses lessons but I think that could be pure coincidence. There was a very intersting issue of the German publication "Spektrum der Wissenschaften" dealing with the development and history of human languages. The basis of linguistic sciences is, simply put, comparison and one article warned against "obvious" analogies.

    Finally you may find many Sanskrit words spread by Buddhism in Indonesian and hence may found similar words in all of south and sout-eastern Asia.

    Just once again, I'm not a linguist and all I had to say might have been wrong but this topic has always excited me and your contribution is extremely interesting.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Tellklaus's Avatar
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    Ancient Korean word for Japanese "matsuri" was "ma'z'ri" which meant "welcome the Gods"

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    Regular Member Hanada Tattsu's Avatar
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    Well, I think that two migrations happened in Japan. The first was by the Ainu, who arrived from Europe long before the Yayoi and Jomons from present day South Korea arrived, and drove the Ainu to Hokkaido and Okinawa, where they still reside today.
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    Banned ricecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanada Tattsu
    Well, I think that two migrations happened in Japan. The first was by the Ainu, who arrived from Europe long before the Yayoi and Jomons from present day South Korea arrived, and drove the Ainu to Hokkaido and Okinawa, where they still reside today.
    CORRECTION ..... Yayoi CAME FROM China's coastal region.

  10. #10
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Hanada Tattsu
    Well, I think that two migrations happened in Japan. The first was by the Ainu, who arrived from Europe long before the Yayoi and Jomons from present day South Korea arrived, and drove the Ainu to Hokkaido and Okinawa, where they still reside today.
    What do you mean from Europe ?

    Ainu where from North East Asia (Siberia ?), weren't they ?

    I've never heard of Ainu living in Okinawa and those in Hokkaido (less than 1% of all people in Hokkaido) have all mixed blood with Japanese nowadays

  11. #11
    Regular Member Hanada Tattsu's Avatar
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    No, I read that the Ainu were from Europe, not Western Europe, like England and France, but more of East Europe, like Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. That's what I read.

    And as for the Okinawa thing, when the Yayoi and Jomon migrated to Japan, they pushed the Ainu from the main islands, they pushed them down to Okinawa Island, and up to Hokkaido.

  12. #12
    Banned ricecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanada Tattsu

    And as for the Okinawa thing, when the Yayoi and Jomon migrated to Japan, they pushed the Ainu from the main islands, they pushed them down to Okinawa Island, and up to Hokkaido.
    Ancient Okinawa people WERE CHINESE.

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    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    From what I read, the only Ainu still living in Japan are restricted to Hokkaido. They used to occupy all the north of Japan (Tohoku) till a few centuries ago, then were pushed to Hokkaido (but maybe in the Edo period, not Jomon or Yayoi). People from Okinawa don't look Ainu at all. Their language is related to some native languages of Taiwan (i.e. not Mandarin Chinese), not to the Ainu language, nor Japanese. Besides, it would suprise me that Ainu would have ventured at sea to reach small islands hundreds of km off the coast of Kyushu which they might not have known of. From what I've read, Japanese already lived in Western Japan in Jomon and Ainu in the North-East. Not sure when Japanese arrived in Japan (and from where ? probably Korea, but they also seem to be related to Indonesians ?).

  14. #14
    Seeing is believing Minty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    From what I read, the only Ainu still living in Japan are restricted to Hokkaido. They used to occupy all the north of Japan (Tohoku) till a few centuries ago, then were pushed to Hokkaido (but maybe in the Edo period, not Jomon or Yayoi). People from Okinawa don't look Ainu at all. Their language is related to some native languages of Taiwan (i.e. not Mandarin Chinese), not to the Ainu language, nor Japanese. Besides, it would suprise me that Ainu would have ventured at sea to reach small islands hundreds of km off the coast of Kyushu which they might not have known of. From what I've read, Japanese already lived in Western Japan in Jomon and Ainu in the North-East. Not sure when Japanese arrived in Japan (and from where ? probably Korea, but they also seem to be related to Indonesians ?).
    Quote Originally Posted by allq View Post
    The Japanese originated from Korea. This is borne by western research studies on genetics, cultural and linguistics which all agree on the Korean origination hypothesis, although Japanese and Chinese researchers themselves have a personal bias and hidden agenda and would rather obscure this tie with Korea. But the relationship is obvious first from the similarity of the language---as someone pointed out earlier, Korean sounds like another dialect of Japnese---to even anyone who is unfamiliar with any studies. Here are some more facts: 1) The first horses that appeared on Japanese islands came from Korea 2000 years ago. 2) Korea and Japanese grammar is nearly identical. 3) Kyushu which is closest to the Southern tip of Korea is hypothesized as the place as where Japanese cultural bloom began because it is the area in which you will find the oldest and culturally significant early Japanese artifacts. As mentioned, Kyushu is closest to the Southern tip of Korean. The early Japanese artifacts unearthed are identical to artifacts unearthed in the area of Southern Korea in the same time period

    I would recommend the book Korean Impact on Japanese Culture: Japan's Hidden History by Jon Covell and Alan Covell for those interested in this topic.
    Quote Originally Posted by allq View Post
    Also, with regard to Southern Chinese contributing to Yayoi. I doubt that. Both Koreans and Japanese do not share DNA with Southern Chinese. In fact, Japanese and Southern Chinese DNA differ extremely. Hence, there is no genetic evidence and the exact opposite can be inferred: Southern Chinese had little contribution to the peopling of Japan, if any. I will link the genetic study on this upon request.
    https://heritageofjapan.wordpress.co...-the-japanese/


    According to this study, 'surprisingly, Japanese also display the highest frequency of haplogroup O3a5, which is a Han Chinese and Sino-Tibetan specific O3 branch."

    This frequency is about 5% higher than the frequency of O3a5 among Manchus, Koreans and other Northeast Asians.

    The study concludes with the following statement" in a nutshell, what we can evince and conclude from all the DNA data that has been presented is that the Japanese people are a people with mixed diverse origins, formed from many waves of migrations from various locations in the remote past as well as in the more recent past.'

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    We have mainly 4 theories about Jomon Jin and Yayoi jin.
    Recentry many people support (4).(Some deny (4).)

    (1)Native Japanese (Jomon jin) were thrown out of Japan by Yayoi jin.
    (2)Native Japanese (Jomon jin) were mixed with Yayoi Jin.
    (3)Native Japanese gradually changed their physical features.
    And they became Yayoi Jin.
    (4)There lived Native Japanese.They were called Jomon Jin who had physical features from south ward.In Yayoi period,people who had physical features from nothern ward (Yayoi Jin) came to nothern Kyusyu from Eurasia.They went down to Kyusyu and up to Honsyu.Jomon Jin moved to Okinawa and Hokkaido.

    According to a study of gene (blood), there are two Mongorians.
    Nothern Mongorians are Japanese or Native Americans.
    (Japanese or Native Americans are "Old" Mongorians.Inuit are "New" Mongorians.)
    Southern Mongorians are Chinese,Filipinos,Malayans.
    Tamil in India are mixed.
    The origin of gene (blood) of Japanese was from near the Lake Bikal, one of a gene hunter,Matsumoto Hideo said.
    DNA of Jomon people were mainly (90%) the same as DNA of people who lived near the Lake Bikal.

    I got these informations from some books.
    Old Mongorians have wet ear wax,and New Mongorians have dry one.
    Interesting!

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    Jomon-Amerindian

    Quote Originally Posted by miyuki View Post
    We have mainly 4 theories about Jomon Jin and Yayoi jin.
    Recentry many people support (4).(Some deny (4).)

    (1)Native Japanese (Jomon jin) were thrown out of Japan by Yayoi jin.
    (2)Native Japanese (Jomon jin) were mixed with Yayoi Jin.
    (3)Native Japanese gradually changed their physical features.
    And they became Yayoi Jin.
    (4)There lived Native Japanese.They were called Jomon Jin who had physical features from south ward.In Yayoi period,people who had physical features from nothern ward (Yayoi Jin) came to nothern Kyusyu from Eurasia.They went down to Kyusyu and up to Honsyu.Jomon Jin moved to Okinawa and Hokkaido.

    According to a study of gene (blood), there are two Mongorians.
    Nothern Mongorians are Japanese or Native Americans.
    (Japanese or Native Americans are "Old" Mongorians.Inuit are "New" Mongorians.)
    Southern Mongorians are Chinese,Filipinos,Malayans.
    Tamil in India are mixed.
    The origin of gene (blood) of Japanese was from near the Lake Bikal, one of a gene hunter,Matsumoto Hideo said.
    DNA of Jomon people were mainly (90%) the same as DNA of people who lived near the Lake Bikal.

    I got these informations from some books.
    Old Mongorians have wet ear wax,and New Mongorians have dry one.
    Interesting!
    Yes I am not Japanese or a scientist, but I am struck by how some Japanese have some physical similarities to Amerindians (which Chinese for example do not), and I find it strange that no one has paid much attention this connection. It seems logical that those northern asians that crossed the bering strait toward the Americas during the ice age would also go South to Japan which was also connected to eastern Russia by land. I agree that Japanese ancestry is probably mostly Korean and Chinese, but I think what makes Japanese slightly different is the Amerindian-Jomon connection. If you look at for example Emperor Akihito, he looks similar to a native American or native Mexican.

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    By YDNA hg Japanese - C3a (M93), Apache Cheyenne Sioux - C3b (P39)

    They are from common C3 stock, very near.

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    Resembling Amerindins are minor in numbers, they are paleolithic aboriginese and ---

    There are 3 major male specific gene carriers, YDNA haplogroups, in present Japan:
    (1) Jomon Aboriginese D2
    (2) Dongyi-Hui/Mo (Yemaek in Korean) O2b/O2b1
    (3) Xufu Mission O3/O2a
    they were nuclear fuels that trickled in Japan from about BC200. Control bars were pulled up around AD200 at Yamato (pref. Nara) and chain reaction completed around AD250 when the first sovereign queen died. Japan was born.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    Yes I am not Japanese or a scientist, but I am struck by how some Japanese have some physical similarities to Amerindians (which Chinese for example do not), and I find it strange that no one has paid much attention this connection. It seems logical that those northern asians that crossed the bering strait toward the Americas during the ice age would also go South to Japan which was also connected to eastern Russia by land. I agree that Japanese ancestry is probably mostly Korean and Chinese, but I think what makes Japanese slightly different is the Amerindian-Jomon connection. If you look at for example Emperor Akihito, he looks similar to a native American or native Mexican.
    absolutely not.. he does not look a bit like american indian..total different facial strucures...

  20. #20
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    I don't think Japanese are closer to Amerindians or Inuits than from Korean and Chinese (and even South-East Asian). Physically they are much closer to Korean and Chinese. SE Asian have darker skin and can be divided in subgroups. Cambodian have very dark skin, but not Vietnamese. Real Thai have brown skin, but many are white because of Chinese imigration (especiallu\y in Bangkok).

    I read that Indonesians, Malays, Philipinos and Polynesians were all originally from South China and then migrated by boat.

    Japanese can't be from the same Northern Mongoloid group as Ameridians because Ameridians went to America about 10.000 years ago, while even Han Chinese only invaded China from Mongolia only about 3000 years ago. Then, there were no other way than crossing from Korea before the first civilizations (2000BC in China) and the development of proper boats/ships.

    Have a look at American Indians from Inuits to Sioux, Cheyenne, Apache, Aztecs, Caribi, Tupi and Quechuas. Eventhough they were the same original group of migrants and it took no longer than 1000 years for them to spread from Canada to Chile/Argentina, they now look very different physically, but all have darker skin. If any of those people had lived in Jomon in Japan, they are probably extinct and surely haven't mixed with further migrants from Korea and China who are present day Japanese.

    The ear wax thing is certainly just a matter of climate (even if its in the genes, it could change after a a only few hundred years, like physical features).

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    It is true that Japaneses are genetically close to Chineses and Koreans.

    The ape-man from Africa reached Eurasia 1,000,000 years ago.
    They reached China at least 400,000 or 500,000 years ago.
    They already had Mongorian's features.
    It is thought that some reached Japan.
    (Other assertion: They went to south-east Asia.
    They were ancestors of all Asians.
    Some of them went to China,southern China to Japan.)
    They were "old" Mongoroid (Jomon Jin) and had southern features.

    Jomon Jin's gene were fit with people near Lake Bikal.
    So some assert that "old" Mongoroid devided into three groups(Siberia,China,south-east Asia) from here.

    Some "old" Mongoroid went to China(around Beijin) and Japan.
    Others went to south-east Asia.

    Others went to northern part of China,Siberia and crossed Bering sea to America.
    Then they gradually got other features to live in cold regions.
    They were "new" Mongoroid.
    "New" Mongoroid in China or korea went to Japan in Yayoi period.
    Thus, bodily features of Jomon jin and Yayoi jin were different.
    It is said that Ainu and Okinawa people have Jomon jin's features.

    Chinese,Koreans,South-east Asiens,Japanese,Native Americans and Inuits are genetically all Mongoroid.

    In Kofun period(3rd-6th century), many people with skills were from China and Korea.We call them "Torai jin." They also lived in Japan.

  22. #22
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    I've also noticed that some Japanese (out of 1000 maybe) had darker skin, almost like Indonesians (but they were pure Japanese, I am sure). Could they be descendant from the Jomon-jin who mixed with Yayoi-jin in Honshu, Kyushuu and Shikoku ?

    What about Burakumin ? Do they have particular physical features ? How did people recognise them ?

    In Edo-jidai, the Japanese class system was very similar to the Indian Caste system. In either country, there were 4 fixed classes (people cannot change class) + outclassed : the "Untouchables" in India and the "Burakumin" in Japan. Both were given dirty jobs and only them were allowed to kill animals and make leather.

    In India, the caste system was established by (white) Aryan invaders around 2000BC to sepate dark-skinned native Dravidians and the new white-skinned ruling class (2 higher castes of priest and warriors). Obviously there has been some mixed blood since then, but generally upper-caste have fairer skin (sometimes blue-grey eyes) and lower castes and especially untouchables are darker.

    Could the same have happen in Japan with Jomon-jin ? Are they the burakumin ? Do burakumin have darker skin ?

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    Follower of None jspecdan's Avatar
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    This whole thing would explain why when I hear Korean I'm thinking that I'm hearing a totally different Japanese dialect. Korean sounds very similar to Japanese.
    _J-Spec Dan

    American born with Japanese specifications.

    Saitama - home of...initial D 4th Stage's WRX!

  24. #24
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Korean is 70% similar to Japanese. The grammar and word order is almost the same.

    I don't speak Korean myself, but I've lots of Korean friends in Japan, some of whom speak very well Japanese and English as well, so they explained to me how similiar Korean and Japanese are.

    As there are so many dialect of Japanese and that a Aomori-ben speaker wouldn't understand a Kagoshima-ben speaker, I guess some of Western Japan's dialect must be even closer to Korean. Unfortunately, I don't know anyobody who speaks Western Japanese dialects (such as Northern Kyushuu) and Korean. Any Japano-Korean linguists here ?

  25. #25
    Regular Member neko_girl22's Avatar
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    I can hardly speak "standard" Japanese let alone the kagoshima dialect here. Picking up a few words though like "kingo-kingo" and "tege-tege"..... it's fun
    but confusing as I also know some kansai-ben (hubby is from Kobe originally)

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