Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In 1972, Fujimura began to study archeology and to look for prehistoric artifacts. At the time he was working for a manufacturing company. He established his reputation as a leading amateur archeologist in Japan when he made a major discovery in 1981. By stratum, it was dated as much as 40,000 years old.
Over the years, he worked in 180 archeological digs all around Japan and always seemed to find something important and increasingly older. The superstitious ones would talk about his "divine hands." His work became basis of numerous textbooks and research of other archeologists. His reputation kept the would-be critics silent. He gained a position as a deputy director in Tohoku Paleolithic Institute .
However, in November 5, 2000, newspaper Mainichi Shimbun published pictures of Fujimura digging holes and burying the artifacts his team had later found. The pictures had been taken one day before the find had been announced.
Fujimura confessed the same day in a press conference. He said that he had wanted to be known as the person who would have found the earliest stoneware in Japan. He had planted the artifacts from his own collection to strata that would have indicated earlier dates. In Kamitakamori he had planted 61 of 65 artifacts and earlier all of the stonework in the Soshin Fudozaka site in the Hokkaido Prefecture. He claimed these were the only times he had planted artifacts. He was immediately dismissed from his position at the Tohoku institute.
All of Fujimura's work immediately fell under suspicion, and the discovery also affected the research of many other archeologists in Japan and elsewhere, based on his findings. Professor Mitsuo Kagawa of Beppu University hanged himself. Publishers of archeology textbooks had to change everything. Most of Fujimura's other findings have been later proven to be forgeries.
- Politics and Personality - The Anatomy of Japan's Worst Archaeology Scandal Shoh Yamada, Harvard Asia Quarterly Summer 2002
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