My mtDNA test revisited.


Several years ago I did a DNA test to determine my mother’s family origins. There have always been rumors of white people in the family tree. The company at the time, Gene Base, was good at testing but not so great at explaining.

I went back to the site today on break and they’ve made it a little more readable. They don’t break it down “99% Japanese” like 23andme, but they do at least display my DNA heritage by region.

There appear to be two distinct groups here. One shows the plod from Olduvai Gorge in East Africa east to India, then China, and finally to Japan–with maybe a stopover in Russia. That makes sense.

But then there’s some European mutt in here, with traces of Sardinia, southern Italy, Lithuania, Finland, and Czech. Exactly how this person got into Japan is a mystery, since only the Dutch, Portuguese, and Russians could trade in pre-Perry Japan.

It’s possible that the separate identity is primarily Russian, maybe from the Finno-Baltic region, who himself had southern Italian blood. A smooth talker who, like Eazy E, could “smother your mother, and make your sister think I love her.”

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