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Noriko Seguchi Last modified date:2018.02.08

Associate Professor / Basic Structure of Human Societies
Department of Environmental Changes
Faculty of Social and Cultural Studies

Graduate School

Academic Degree
Ph.D. The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI USA
Field of Specialization
Biological Anthropology
Outline Activities
I have been continuing research on Paleoamericans in North America and South America and their relationships with the Asian continent, such as the Jomon people. I am also working on testing evolutionary mechanisms for patterns of craniofacial morphology in order to distinguish between neutral forces and selective forces of evolution. This year, I start working on investigating ecogeographic significance of human postcranial diversity using postcranial bones in Bergmann’s and Allen’s perspective. I also explore the issue of race and gender in the history of biological anthropology in general and in Japanese physical anthropology in particular. Believing that scientific biases through the history of physical anthropology were always influenced by and supportive of political ideologies, I strongly feel the necessity to discern and reexamine anthropological theorizing related to problematic issues such as racism, nationalism, imperialism, and sexism.
Research Interests
  • Global History of Health Project - East Asia Module
    keyword : Global Health, Bioarchaeology
  • 3D data acquisition for bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, and archaeology
    keyword : 3D Mesh data, 3D data acquisition
  • 3D data acquisition technology; in bioarchaeological and archaeological contexts
    keyword : virtual model processing protocols, alignment methods, actual data acquisition techniques, basic technological protocols, consideration of variation in research design
  • Interdisciplinary research on the processes and mechanisms of racialization
    keyword : Race, the processes of racializaion
  • A accuracy test between semilandmark data taken by 3D digitizer and 3D virtual models
    keyword : 3D digitizer, 3D virtual model, semilandmarks
  • International research on human skeletal remains using 3D laser scanner:Implications for applications of digital morphometorics
    keyword : 3D laser scanner, craniofacial morphology, Pelvic morphology
  • Invalidity of biological "race" concept
    The issue of race and gender in the history of biological anthropology
    The issue of "Ainu"
    keyword : Problems of "race" Gender Ainu
  • A.We set out to test whether craniofacial morphology is simply an artifact of neutral genetic processes or is affected by differences in climate.
    Are the observed cranial patterns:
    1. Due to natural selection and shaped by differences in climate?
    2. Due to neutral processes (i.e., drift)?
    3. Due to gene flow?
    4. Test “isolation by distance” model
    5. Provide a framework for distinguishing between neutral forces and selective forces (natural selection) of evolution.
    6. Guide to improve our use of quantitative craniofacial traits for reconstructing population history and phylogeny.

    B. A study of postcranial indices, ratios and body mass versus eco-geographical variables in an assessment of phenotypic adaptation to climatic conditions.

    keyword : Craniofacial morphology neutral traits natural selection Postcranials
  • Craniofacial Morphometircs
    Dental anthropology
    Human Biodiversity
    Human dispersal and population history in East, Northeast, Central Asia, North and South America, and Europe

    keyword : Biological Anthropology Human bio diversity Population history 
Current and Past Project
  • Advances in three-dimensional technology have impacted the field of biological anthropology, archaeology, and the use of geometric morphometrics. This book explores a best-practices data acquisition method for recording landmark and semi-landmark data on fragile archaeological human remains.
    As a handbook to the collection and processing of 3-D scanned data, this book will be a tool for scholars interested in pursuing research projects with 3-D models. The chapters will enhance the reader’s understanding of the technology with consideration of virtual model processing protocols, alignment methods, introduction to actual data acquisition techniques, basic technological protocols, and consideration of variation in research design as associated with biological anthropology and archaeology.
  • Recent advancements in three-dimensional technology have impacted the field of biological anthropology and the use of geometric morphometrics. Three-dimensional digitizers such as Microscribe serve as excellent tools for collecting landmark and semi-landmark data. However, Microscribe requires direct access to skeletal materials, which is a problem on several levels. For instance, recording semi-landmark data over curved areas of bone can compromise poorly preserved specimens. Additionally, access to archaeological skeletal collections can often be impeded by restrictions mandated by the curation authority. This project explores a best-practices data acquisition method for recording semi-landmark data on fragile archaeological human remains, with a case study centered on Japan.

    For this purpose, we chose the curvature of the maxillary alveolar process as well as traditional craniofacial landmarks. Curve data were taken from 3D virtual cr anial models from three collections spanning historical and modern population samples from Japan using Stratovan Checkpoint software. For comparison, we collected 3D coordinate data on modern Japanese skulls using a Microscribe digitizer.

    Our study incorporates an assessment of the validity of landmark data acquired by Microscribe versus Checkpoint software. However, considering the difficulties of direct collection of curve data, using the Microscribe on actual skulls can present challenges.

    We demonstrate the process of acquiring curve data on virtual cranial models by using Checkpoint software, which improves data quality and benefits research by: 1) improving accuracy when identifying landmarks corresponding to maximum width and length; and 2) visualizing curve data allows for the determination of data quality and necessary adjustments.
Academic Activities
1. C. Loring Brace, Noriko Seguchi, A.R. Nelson, Q. Pan, Hideyuki Umeda, M. Wilson, M.L. Brace, The Ainu and Jomon Connection , Texas A & M Press, USA, Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton. Edited by Douglas W. Owsley and Richard L. Jantz. Texas A&M Press, College Station. pp.463-471., 2014.09, When the craniofacial dimensions of the 9300-year-old Kennewick specimen from the southern part of the State of Washington are compared to ancient and recent human craniofacial samples from both sides of the Pacific Ocean, it is clear that Kennewick is more closely related to the earliest inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere than the latter are to its immediate pre-Columbian residents. Not only that, Kennewick clearly ties more closely to the recent Ainu of Japan and coastal northeast Asia and to their evident ancestors — the prehistoric Jōmon — than to any other population. The Jōmon, as the direct descendants of the Paleolithic inhabitants of northeast Asia, have an antiquity greater than that of the first inhabitants of the New World. The planked-canoe technology that the Ainu inherited from their Jōmon forebears allowed them to make use of deep-sea mammals and fish, and it also provided the capability of the Jōmon to spread across the coast of Beringia and down the western edge of the Americas more than 12,500 years ago on the one hand, and, more recently, out into Oceania as the first inhabitants of Polynesia on the other. With the melting of the Late Pleistocene glaciers providing an ice-free corridor between the North American Laurentide and Cordilleran ice masses, Jōmon-derived people, aided by the use of birch-bark canoes, could come from the Beringian north and spread east across the swamp-lake-and-stream country to the south of the melting glaciers. Craniofacial data clearly show that subsequent entrants into the Western Hemisphere did not have the same Asian roots as the first or Jōmon-derived arrivals..
2. Deconstructing scientific discourse by the conservatives: the debate over gender differences from the perspective of biological anthropology .
1. Skeletal Biological Perspective on Human Variation .
2. The Kennewick man and the Jomon. National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo News, July issue.
3. Seguchi N, Drawing the Borders: Sexual, Racial, and National Boundaries Today, Tomorrow, and Forever, Working Paper Series, No. 34. Institute for Research on Women and Gender, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1998.07.
1. Noriko Seguchi, Conrad Quintyn, Shiori Yonemoto, Hirofumi Takamuku, An assessment of postcranial indices, ratios, and body mass versus eco-geographical variables of prehistoric Jomon, Yayoi agriculturalists, and Kumejima Islanders of Japan., American Journal of Human Biology, 10.1002/ajhb.23015, 2017.05, [URL], Objectives: We explore variations in body and limb proportions of the Jomon
hunter-gatherers (14,000–2500 BP), the Yayoi agriculturalists (2500–1700 BP) of
Japan, and the Kumejima Islanders of the Ryukyus (1600–1800 AD) with 11 geographically
diverse skeletal postcranial samples from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia,
and North America using brachial-crural indices, femur head-breadth-to-femur length
ratio, femur head-breadth-to-lower-limb-length ratio, and body mass as indicators of
phenotypic climatic adaptation. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that variation in
limb proportions seen in Jomon, Yayoi, and Kumejima is a complex interaction of
genetic adaptation; development and allometric constraints; selection, gene flow and
genetic drift with changing cultural factors (i.e., nutrition) and climate.
Methods: The skeletal data (1127 individuals) were subjected to principle components
analysis, Manly’s permutation multiple regression tests, and Relethford-
Blangero analysis.
Results: The results of Manly’s tests indicate that body proportions and body mass
are significantly correlated with latitude, and minimum and maximum temperatures
while limb proportions were not significantly correlated with these climatic variables.
Principal components plots separated “climatic zones:” tropical, temperate, and arctic
populations. The indigenous Jomon showed cold-adapted body proportions and
warm-adapted limb proportions. Kumejima showed cold-adapted body proportions
and limbs. The Yayoi adhered to the Allen-Bergmann expectation of cold-adapted
body and limb proportions. Relethford-Blangero analysis showed that Kumejima
experienced gene flow indicated by high observed variances while Jomon experienced
genetic drift indicated by low observed variances.
Conclusions: The complex interaction of evolutionary forces and development/nutritional
constraints are implicated in the mismatch of limb and body proportions..
2. Ryan W. Schmidt, Noriko Seguchi, Craniofacial variation of the Xiongnu nomads of Mongolia reveals their possible origins and population history doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2014.11.035, Quaternary International, 405, 110-121, 2016.06, This paper examines Iron Age Mongolia during a time when nomadic tribes created the world's first
steppe empire in Inner Asia. These aggregated tribes, known as Xiongnu (3rd century BC to the 2nd
century AD), came to define steppe polity construction, later used by the Mongol Empire under the reign
of Genghis Khan. They moved extensively over the eastern steppe and interacted, both in trade and
intermarriage, with peoples from southern Siberia to Xinjiang. However, the Xiongnu as a people are
relatively unknown to scholars, as they did not possess a written language. This study assesses Xiongnu
population history and biological structure by analyzing craniofacial diversity via geometric morphometrics.
Twenty-four coordinate cranial landmarks were used to test relationships among groups in the
region and infer potential biological origins. The RelethfordeBlangero R-matrix method was used to test
hypotheses of phenotypic variation resulting from microevolutionary processes. This study hypothesizes
biological continuity among Xiongnu individuals extending into modern Mongolian populations. Alternatively,
long-range gene flow from adjacent geographic regions might suggest a complex population
structure among the Xiongnu indicative of multiple populations controlling administrative functions.
Results indicate the Xiongnu were potentially composed of at least two biologically distinct groups.
Individuals from the elite cemetery of Borkhan Tolgoi (Egiin Gol) share their ancestry with a Bronze Age
population from western Mongolia, and possibly, to a later migration of Turks, who came to rule the
eastern steppe from the 6th to 8th centuries AD. The Xiongnu also evidence biological similarity with
nomads from the Mongol Empire during the medieval period and modern Mongolians, as well as modern
and ancient Central Asian, Chinese, and Siberian groups. These results are similar to ancient DNA studies
that suggest a mix of Eastern and Western Eurasian haplogroups in the Xiongnu while also achieving
consensus with models of steppe polity formation proposed by archaeologists who suggest local ties to
extra-local groups through interactive exchange networks..
3. Ryan W Schmidt, Noriko Seguchi, Jomon Culture and the peopling of the Japanese archipelago: advancements in the fields of morphometrics and ancient DNA, Japanese Journal of Archaeology , 2, 34-59, 2014.12, Archaeological investigation of the Jomon Culture is extensive and well supported among the
Japanese public. The distinct pottery that characterizes the Jomon has been well documented
and physical anthropological description of skeletal remains in Japan has a long and extensive
history. However, questions remain of Jomon peoples origins, biological contribution to modern
Japanese and biological relationship to the agriculturalist people associated with the Yayoi
culture. Morphological analyses of Jomon skeletal material have suggested ambiguous origins
and inter-regional heterogeneity has been observed based on craniofacial variation. Ancient
DNA of skeletal remains associated with the Jomon Culture indicates possible distinct genetic
lineages associated with various locations throughout greater East and Southeast Asia. Here,
we review the relevance of using ancient DNA and morphometrics to answer some of the above
questions and challenge models based on the assumption that archaeological culture is equal
to a shared biological history. Recent literature is reviewed and summarized in order to give
the reader an idea of how basic assumptions of biological ancestry can be questioned using
these new data. We end our discussion by suggesting further avenues of study and prospective
research questions that could be asked in light of these new technologies..
4. Yasuko Takezawa, Kazuo Kato, Hiroki Oota, Timothy Caulfield, Akihiro Fujimoto, Shunwa Honda, Naoyuki Kamatani, Shoji Kawamura, Kohei Kawashima, Ryosuke Kimura, Hiromi Matsumae, Ayako Saito, Patrick E Savage, Noriko Seguchi, Keiko Shimizu, Satoshi Terao, Yumi Yamaguchi-Kabata, Akira YASUKOUCHI, Minoru Yoneda, Katsushi Tokunaga, Human genetic research, race, ethnicity and the labeling of populations:recommendations based on an interdisciplinary workshop in Japan, BMC Medical Ethics, 10.1186/1472-6939-15-33, 15, 1, 33, BMC Med Ethics. 2014 Apr 23;15(1):33., 2014.04, [URL], Background
A challenge in human genome research is how to describe the populations being studied. The use of improper and/or imprecise terms has the potential to both generate and reinforce prejudices and to diminish the clinical value of the research. The issue of population descriptors has not attracted enough academic attention outside North America and Europe. In January 2012, we held a two-day workshop, the first of its kind in Japan, to engage in interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars in the humanities, social sciences, medical sciences, and genetics to begin an ongoing discussion of the social and ethical issues associated with population descriptors.
Through the interdisciplinary dialogue, we confirmed that the issue of race, ethnicity and genetic research has not been extensively discussed in certain Asian communities and other regions. We have found, for example, the continued use of the problematic term, ?Mongoloid? or continental terms such as ?European,? ?African,? and ?Asian,? as population descriptors in genetic studies. We, therefore, introduce guidelines for reporting human genetic studies aimed at scientists and researchers in these regions.
We need to anticipate the various potential social and ethical problems entailed in population descriptors. Scientists have a social responsibility to convey their research findings outside of their communities as accurately as possible, and to consider how the public may perceive and respond to the descriptors that appear in research papers and media articles. .
5. Noriko Seguchi, Christina Heiner, Differences in prevelence of Tuberculosis mortality among the Ainu and the Ethnic Japanese during the early Twentieth Century: Socio-Economic and political structural influences, 人種表象の日本型グローバル研究、平成24年度研究成果報告書  京都大学人文科学研究所, 14-28, 2013.03, The Ainu are an indigenous people currently residing in present day Hokkaido, Japan. During the Meiji Period (1868-1912), the Ainu suffered persecution and were the targets of the Japanese government assimilation and cultural extinction policies. Governmental policies such as the Aboriginal Protection Act of 1899 not only restricted many aspects of Ainu cultural identity but ultimately lead to deteriorating health for the Ainu. Striped of their cultural identity, denied access to traditional subsistence practices, malnourished and starving Ainu populations faced continual epidemics from various infectious diseases. Tuberculosis in particular emerged in epidemic proportions among Ainu populations in the early part of the twentieth century.
This paper relies upon records taken by the Japanese government between 1909 and 1911 among Ainu village populations and some bioarchaeological studies. While the Japanese government and other medical authorities often explained epidemic tuberculosis as a cultural and heredity trait, this work seeks to explain how unfavorable political and social conditions contributed to a high prevalence of tuberculosis and mortality among Ainu individuals.
This paper reveals that it was under unfavorable conditions that diseases such as tuberculosis flourished soon affecting entire communities and becoming a leading killer of death among the Ainu. Issues of economic and environmental poverty, however, were disguised by “racially” based discourses that associated tuberculosis with an “uncivilized” lifestyle and genetic traits. Clearly, such a high rate of tuberculosis deaths was rooted in social, political and economic conditions that the Ainu populations had become to know during the 19th and 20th centuries..
6. Seguchi N, McKeown A, Schmidt R, Umeda H, Brace CL, An alternative view of the peopling of South America: Lagoa Santa in craniometric perspective, Anthropological Science, 119, 1, 21-38, 2011.04, [URL], これまで、南アメリカの初期先住民は東アジア集団よりも、オーストラリア、メラネシア、アジア南部の集団との近縁関係深いと根強く主張されてきた。しかしこれらの研究には北東アジアや東アジアの先史集団の頭蓋骨計測データが含まれておらず、また、近縁関係を検討する上で支障となりうる環境の影響を受けやすい形態データも使用され分析されてきた。我々は、この論文では東アジア・北東アジア先史集団である縄文人、また、北アメリカの初期先住民のデータも含め、南アメリカ・ブラジルの初期先住民ととの遺伝的関係を検討した。そして、単に従来からの手法を踏襲するのではなく、人類集団間の関係を探る上では必須の基礎的分析である環境の影響を受けにくい形態要素の抽出し、最新の統計学的分析(R-マトリックス法)とを組み合わせ分析を行った。この手法を用いて、南アメリカの初期先住民と北東アジア先史集団との近縁性を明らかにした。.
7. Schmidt R , Seguchi N, Thompson J, Chinese immigrant population history in North America based on craniometric diversity, Anthropological Science, 119, 1, 9-19, 2011.04, [URL], 北アメリカネバダ州の19世紀後半から20世紀初期の中国人移民の墓から発掘された遺骨を最新の統計手法であるRマトリックス法、レレスフォード・ブランジェロ法を用い、中国人移民の出自を分析した。その結果、発掘された遺骨と南部中国人との近縁性が示唆された。当時の歴史的記録文書によると、移民してきた中国人の多くは南部中国からアメリカ合衆国に来たと記されており、また、香港の西地域を表記する出土品も発掘されており、我々の頭蓋骨計測データによる分析結果でも発掘された遺骨は、北中国人よりも南部中国人との近縁性がみられ、歴史的記録と結果が一致した。.
8. Brace CL, Seguchi, N, Brace ML, Exploring the Kennewick Connection, Kennewick Man: Perspectives on the Ancient One. (eds) Claire Smith, Larry Zimmerman, Joe Watkins and Dorothy Lippert, 153-168, The Left Coast Press in Australia, 2008.11.
9. Nelson AR, Seguchi N, Brace CL, Craniometric Affinities and Early Skeletal Evidence for Origins, Environment, origins, and population, Handbook of North American Indians series. (ed) Douglas Ubelaker, 3, 679-684, Smithsonian Institution. Washington D.C., 2007.10.
10. Brace CL, Seguchi N, Quintyn CB, Fox SC, Nelson AR, Sotiris KM, Pan Q, The questionable contribution of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age to European craniofacial form, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103, 1, 242-247, 2006.01, [URL], Many human craniofacial dimensions are largely of neutral adaptive
significance, and an analysis of their variation can serve as an
indication of the extent to which any given population is genetically
related to or differs from any other. When 24 craniofacial
measurements of a series of human populations are used to
generate neighbor-joining dendrograms, it is no surprise that all
modern European groups, ranging all of the way from Scandinavia
to eastern Europe and throughout the Mediterranean to the
Middle East, show that they are closely related to each other. The
surprise is that the Neolithic peoples of Europe and their Bronze
Age successors are not closely related to the modern inhabitants,
although the prehistoricmodern ties are somewhat more apparent
in southern Europe. It is a further surprise that the Epipalaeolithic
Natufian of Israel from whom the Neolithic realm was
assumed to arise has a clear link to Sub-Saharan Africa. Basques
and Canary Islanders are clearly associated with modern Europeans.
When canonical variates are plotted, neither sample ties in
with Cro-Magnon as was once suggested. The data treated here
support the idea that the Neolithic moved out of the Near East into
the circum-Mediterranean areas and Europe by a process of demic
diffusion but that subsequently the in situ residents of those areas,
derived from the Late Pleistocene inhabitants, absorbed both the
agricultural life way and the people who had brought it..
11. C. Loring Brace, A. Russell Nelson, Noriko Seguchi, Hiroaki Oe, Leslie Sering, Pan Qifeng, Li Yongyii, and Dashtseveg Tumen, Old World sources of the first New World human inhabitants: A comparative craniofacial view, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , 98, 17, 10017-10022, 2001.08, [URL], Human craniofacial data were used to assess the similarities and
differences between recent and prehistoric Old World samples,
and between these samples and a similar representation of
samples from the New World. The data were analyzed by the
neighbor-joining clustering procedure, assisted by bootstrapping
and by canonical discriminant analysis score plots. The first
entrants to the Western Hemisphere of maybe 15,000 years ago
gave rise to the continuing native inhabitants south of the
U.S.–Canadian border. These show no close association with any
known mainland Asian population. Instead they show ties to the
Ainu of Hokkaido and their Jomon predecessors in prehistoric
Japan and to the Polynesians of remote Oceania. All of these also
have ties to the Pleistocene and recent inhabitants of Europe and
may represent an extension from a Late Pleistocene continuum
of people across the northern fringe of the Old World. With roots
in both the northwest and the northeast, these people can be
described as Eurasian. The route of entry to the New World was
at the northwestern edge. In contrast, the Inuit (Eskimo), the
Aleut, and the Na-Dene speakers who had penetrated as far as the American Southwest within the last 1,000 years show more similarities to the mainland populations of East Asia. Although both the earlier and later arrivals in the New World show a mixture of traits characteristic of the northern edge of Old World occupation and the Chinese core of mainland Asia, the proportion of the latter is greater for the more recent entrants..
12. Brace CL and Seguchi N, 「人種」は社会的構築物か生物学的リアリティか, Jinshu Gainen no Fuhensei wo Tou: Shokuminchi shugi, Kokumin Kokka, Tsukurareta Shinwa/ Is Race a Universal Idea?: Colonialism, Nation-States, and a Myth Invented. Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan., pp. 44-83, 2003.03.
Works, Software and Database
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1. NORIKO SEGUCHI, CONRAD B. QUINTYN, A Craniofacial and Postcranial Survey of North and South American Inhabitants from the Perspective of Possible Old World Ancestors, World Archaeological Congress 8, at Kyoto, 2016.09, [URL], This study analyzes variations in craniofacial and postcranial morphology of inhabitants in the Americas, with comparison to the prehistoric Jomon of Japan, other East and Northeast Asians, and worldwide skeletal samples, in order to understand morphological variation and migration to the Americas. Data suggest New World groups show diverse brachial and crural indices with generally wide body breadth. In particular, our results indicate that Windover and Lagoa Santa samples show similar phenotypic traits to Jomon samples that they are almost contemporary with. Further, our results suggest study samples' American ancestors passed through a cold filter in the Beringian Arctic..
2. Recent Trends within the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.
3. Spreading the knowledge: physical anthropology and working with descendant communities.
4. The Concept of Race in Medical and Public Health Research.
5. , [URL].
6. Noriko Seguchi, Hiroshi Takamuku, Conrad B. Quintyn, A study of postcranial indices, ratios and body mass versus eco-geographical variables in an assessment of phenotypic adaptation to climatic conditions.
, the 82nd Annual meeting of American Association of Physical Anthropologists. , 2013.04, Human body size and shape exhibit considerable global variation. According to Bergmann’s and Allen’s rule, populations in cold climate exhibit larger body and smaller/shorter extremities than populations in hot climate. As such, skeletal limb size proportions may shed light on human evolution and climatic adaptation. In this perspective, we investigate ecogeographic significance of human postcranial diversity.
We used brachial-crural indices; femur head breadth-femur length ratio; femur head breadth-lower limb length ratio; and body mass as indicators of phenotypic climatic adaptation among 11 historic and recent sample groups from Africa, Europa, South Asia, East Asia, and North America.
Data were subjected to principal components analysis and Manly’s non-parametric correlation tests. The non-parametric correlations were tested between pc scores, indices, ratios, body mass, and ecogeographic variables: latitude, longitude, minimum temperature, and maximum temperature. Significance was calculated after 10,000 permutations in a two-tail test (α = 0.05).
Principal components plots exhibit geographic clines from South to North. The first principal component scores (loadings especially for body mass and femur head breadth to femur length ratio) shows weak but statistically significant correlations with latitude and minimum temperature, and a very weak but statistically significant correlation with maximum temperature. Only crural index shows a strong and statistically significant correlation with latitude when variables are tested separately. All significant weak correlations between the regressions of PC scores and latitude, minimum temperature, and maximum temperature indicate some trends in the data for a potential selective mechanism or adaptive pathway occurring in the indices, ratio and body mass.

7. Noriko Seguchi, Beatrix Dudzik, Testing the Dual-Structure Hypothesis for the Colonization of the Japanese Archipelago: Evidence from Southern Japan., The 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 2014.04, This study builds upon previous research that has investigated cranial variation of prehistoric Japanese populations. Examination of the cranial base and neurocranium was employed to test the Dual-Structure hypothesis, which posits that admixture rather than replacement occurred between the prehistoric Jomon and Eneolithic Yayoi cultures. While prior research has elucidated much of the population and migration history of Japan as a whole using facial dimensions, less emphasis has been placed on the examination of skeletal samples representative of specific geographic areas and temporal continuity.
This study examines metric cranial variability utilizing the skeletal collection housed at Kyushu University, which houses samples from Kyushu Island and nearby locales that represent a nearly temporally continuous sequence from the prehistoric Jomon culture to the Medieval period. Additionally, this region-specific sample allows for testing of the dual-structure hypothesis, while building upon recent findings that suggest the neurocranium is a better predictor of population affinity.
This preliminary study indicates that the removal of facial landmarks and concentration on dimensions associated with the vault and base provide differential results and alternate interpretations regarding admixture between the Jomon and Yayoi populations. These results support the hypothesis that the cranial vault may provide better resolution for population affinity, as well as provide support for population continuity in the context of prehistoric southern Japan.
8. Noriko Seguchi, Conrad Quyntin, Hirofumi Takamuku, Shiori Yonemoto, An assessment of phenotypic adaptation of the prehistoric Jomon hunter-gatherers and the Yayoi agriculturalists of Japan: A study of postcranial indices, ratios, and body mass versus eco-geographical variables, The 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 2014.04, Human body size and shape exhibit considerable global variation and these follow Bergmann’s and Allen’s rule. Body and limb proportions may shed light on human evolution and ancestral climatic adaptation.
In this study, we explore variation in body and limb proportions between Jomon hunter-gatherers (14,000-2,500 BP) and Yayoi agriculturalists (2,500-1,700BP) of Japan with 12 geographically diverse samples from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America. Brachial-crural indices; femur head breadth-femur length ratio; femur head breadth-lower limb length ratio; and body mass are used as indicators of phenotypic climatic adaptation.
Data were subjected to principal components analysis and Manly’s permutation regression tests. The principal component analysis of body proportions and limb proportions were used to interpret how those indices, ratios, and body mass contribute to phenotypic adaptation.
The results of Manly tests indicate that body proportions and body mass are significantly correlated with latitude, minimum and maximum temperatures, while limb proportion were not significantly correlate with these climatic variables. Principal components plots separated “climatic zones”: tropical populations, temperate populations, and arctic populations. Yayoi people who were recent migrants from Northeast Asia belong to the temperate populations. They show cold-adapted body and limb proportions. On the other hand, the indigenous Jomon show cold-adapted body proportions and warm-adapted limb proportions. As one considers the past climate of Late Pleistocene and Holocene East/Northeast Asia, it could be interpreted that the Jomon may have achieved cold-adapted physiques, and then adapted to a warmer climate before or after migrations to Japan.
9. In 1996, one of the oldest and best-preserved human skeletons in the United States was discovered on the banks of the Columbia River near Kennewick in the State of Washington, and has come to be known as Kennewick Man. In this paper, the origins of the 9,300 year old Kennewick individual and his early Holocene contemporaries in the Americas are explored. The results of our craniofacial metric analysis indicate that Kennewick Man shows a greater similarity with the Ainu, the prehistoric Jomon of Japan, and Polynesians, than with any other human samples in the world. The Jomon samples that show similarity with Kennewick Man are also similar to prehistoric inhabitants of the North American Northwest coast, Paleoamerican samples from Brazil, and the indigenous peoples of the southern end of South America. These results suggest that the ancestor of the Jomon in the Late Pleistocene of the northeast and eastern coast of Asia might be an important source for the first known inhabitants of the western hemisphere and might have migrated to North America and dispersed to South America..
10. Noriko Seguchi, Conrad B. Quintyn, Variation in body and limb proportions between Early and Archaic Americans and the prehistoric Jomon of Japan, The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropology, 2015.03, In this study, we explore variations in body and limb proportions of the Jomon hunter-gatherers (14,000–2,500 BP); Lagoa Santa, South American (9,000-7,000 BP); Windover, North American (6,000-5,000 BC); Indian Knoll, North American (5000–4000 BP), Santa Cruz Islanders, California (Late Prehistoric 1500-1100 AD); and historic Tierra del Fuego with 11 geographically diverse skeletal samples from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Americas.
Manly’s permutation regression tests indicate that body proportions and body mass are significantly correlated with minimum and maximum temperatures, but not with latitude and longitude. Limb proportions were not significantly correlated with these climatic variables. Principal components plots of body and limb proportions separate “climatic zones:” tropical, temperate, and arctic populations. The New World groups show diverse phenotypes. The principal component plots indicate that Jomon and Lagoa Santa show similar phenotypic proportions: relatively wider body and heat adapted limb proportions. Tierra del Fuego displays cold adapted body and limb proportions.
Body proportions of Jomon, Lagoa Santa, Santa Cruz, Windover, and Tierra del Fuego are similar. Interestingly, body and limb proportions of Lagoa Santa, Jomon, and archaic Americans are different compared to Australians. Our previous study show that Jomon exhibit close craniometric affinities with Lagoa Santa and archaic North Americans and distant craniometric affinities with Australians, contra to Neves et al. who suggest that Lagoa Santa is more closely related to Australians. These data suggest that the ancestors of Jomon were important in the peopling of the New World.

Supported by Burton Williams Endowment Award, International Research Fund, University of Montana; Career Center for Women Researchers Fund, Kyushu University; College of Liberal Arts, Research and Disciplinary Grants, Bloomsburg University.
11. 瀬口 典子, Murphy, Mary-Margaret, Dudzik, Beatrix, 米元 史織, Practical reality of taking semi-landmark data on archaeological human remains, The 85th Annual Meeting, American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 2016.04, Recent advancements in three-dimensional technology have impacted the field of biological anthropology and the use of geometric morphometrics. Three-dimensional digitizers such as Microscribe serve as excellent tools for collecting landmark and semi-landm.
Membership in Academic Society
  • Japan Society of Physiological Anthropology
  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists
  • Anthropological Society of Nippon
  • American Anthropological Association
Educational Activities
Biological Anthropology (Human variation and Evolution)
Introduction to Physical Anthropology
Professional and Outreach Activities
Appointed as a Faculty Affiliate in the Anthropology Department at the University of Montana, Missoula. (from Oct. 11, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2017).