The Japan Times
October 1, 2001

Archaeologist admits faking another 'find'

SENDAI (Kyodo) Shinichi Fujimura, the archaeologist who admitted faking the discovery of two Paleolithic stone tools in northern Japan, has confessed to faking the unearthing of the world's oldest stone tool, archaeological association officials said Saturday.

Fujimura had broken the tool up and claimed to have discovered its parts in two neighboring prefectures, they said.

Fujimura made the latest confession to a special Japanese Archaeological Association investigation committee after announcing in December 1997 that the two pieces of the implement, discovered in Yamagata and Miyagi prefectures, matched each other, the officials said. The sites are about 30 km apart.

The pieces of the tool — initially thought to date back 100,000 years — were found at the Sodehara 3 site in Obanazawa, Yamagata Prefecture, and at the Nakajimayama site in Shikama, Miyagi Prefecture.

The officials added that Fujimura suggested he falsified results from at least 20 other locations, but did not provide details about them.

The 51-year-old former deputy director of the Tohoku Paleolithic Institute in Tagajo, Miyagi Prefecture, is suspected of fabricating discoveries at 33 sites in eight prefectures, but insisted in a press conference last November that he had only faked two.

Those artifacts were found at Kamitakamori, in the Miyagi town of Tsukidate, and Soshin Fudozaka in Shintotsukawa, Hokkaido, in 2000.

During a reexamination of his finds between April and August, the association developed suspicions regarding six sites after detecting what appeared to be excavation marks made by tools.

On Sept. 23, the association said it had analyzed stone tools unearthed at two important locations in Miyagi — Razaragi and Babadan — and had suspicions about them.