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[1]=Ainu people= From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, searchFor the ethnic group of western China, see Äynu people.


Group of Ainu people, 1902 photograph.

Total population
The official Japanese government estimate is 25,000, though this number has been disputed with unofficial estimates of upwards of 200,000.[1]
Regions with significant populations
Russia (Sakhalin Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai & Kamchatka Krai)

Historically Ainu and other Ainu languages; today, most Ainu speak Japanese or Russian.[2]


Atheism, Animism, Buddhism, Russian Orthodox

The Ainu (アイヌ?), also called Aynu, Aino (アイノ), and in historical texts Ezo (蝦夷), are indigenous people or groups in Japan and Russia. Historically they spoke the Ainu language and related varieties and lived in Hokkaidō, the Kuril Islands, and much of Sakhalin. Most of those who identify themselves as Ainu still live in this same region, though the exact number of living Ainu is unknown. This is due to confusion over mixed heritages and to ethnic issues in Japan resulting in those with Ainu backgrounds hiding their identities. In Japan, because of intermarriage over many years with Japanese, the concept of a pure Ainu ethnic group is no longer feasible.[3] Official estimates of the population are of around 25,000, while the unofficial number is upward of 200,000 people.[1]


[hide] *1 History

[edit] HistoryEdit

Ainu culture dates from around 1200 AD[4] and recent research suggests that it originated in a merger of the Okhotsk and Satsumon cultures.[5] In 1264, Nivkh people reported to the Yuan Dynasty of the Mongol Empire that Ainu invaded the land of Nivkh, resulting in battles between Ainu and the Yuan Dynasty.[6] Active contact between the Wajin (the ethnically Japanese) and the Ainu of Ezochi (now known as Hokkaido) began in the 13th century.[7] The Ainu were a society of hunter-gatherers, who lived mainly by hunting and fishing, and the people followed a religion based on phenomena of nature.[8] [3][4]A group of Ainu people (between 1863 and early 1870s)During the Tokugawa period (1600–1868) the Ainu became increasingly involved in trade with Japanese who controlled the southern portion of the island that is now called Hokkaido. The Bakufu government granted the Matsumae clan exclusive rights to trade with the Ainu in the Northern part of the island. Later the Matsumae began to lease out trading rights to Japanese merchants, and contact between Japanese and Ainu became more extensive. Throughout this period Ainu became increasingly dependent on goods imported by Japanese, and suffered from epidemic diseases such as smallpox.[9] Although the increased contact brought by trade between the Japanese and the Ainu contributed to increased mutual understanding, sometimes it led to conflict, occasionally intensifying into violent Ainu revolts, of which the most important was Shakushain's Revolt (1669–1672).

The turning point for Ainu culture was the beginning of the Meiji Restoration in 1868. A variety of social, political and economic reforms were introduced by the Japanese government, in hope of modernising the country in the Western style, and included the annexation of Hokkaido. Sjöberg quotes Baba’s (1980) account of the Japanese government's reasoning:[9] ‘ … The development of Japan's large northern island had several objectives: First, it was seen as a means to defend Japan from a rapidly developing and expansionist Russia. Second … it offered a solution to the unemployment for the former samurai class … Finally, development promised to yield the needed natural resources for a growing capitalist economy.’[10] In 1899, the Japanese government passed an act labeling the Ainu as former aborigines, with the idea they would assimilate—this resulted in the land the Ainu people lived on being taken by the Japanese government, and was from then on under Japanese control.[11] Also at this time, the Ainu were granted automatic Japanese citizenship, effectively denying them the status of an indigenous group. [5][6]Ainu bear sacrifice. Japanese scroll painting, circa 1870.The Ainu were becoming increasingly marginalized on their own land—over a period of only 36 years, the Ainu went from being a relatively isolated group of people to having their land, language, religion and customs assimilated into those of the Japanese.[12] In addition to this, the land the Ainu lived on was distributed to the Wajin who had decided to move to Hokkaido, who had been encouraged by the Japanese government of the Meiji era to take advantage of the island’s abundance of natural resources, and to create and maintain farms in the model of western industrial agriculture. While at the time the process was openly referred to as colonization ("takushoku" 拓殖), the notion was later reframed by Japanese elites to the currently common usage "kaitaku"(開拓), which instead conveys a sense of opening up or reclamation of the Ainu lands.[13] As well as this, factories such as flour mills and beer breweries and mining practices resulted in the creation of infrastructure such as roads and railway lines, during a development period that lasted until 1904.[14] During this time the Ainu were forced to learn Japanese, required to adopt Japanese names and ordered to cease religious practices such as animal sacrifice and the custom of tattooing.[15]

The 1899 act mentioned above was replaced in 1997—until then the government had stated there were no ethnic minority groups.[5] It was not until June 6, 2008 that Japan formally recognised the Ainu as an indigenous group (see Official Recognition, below).[5] [7][8]The Oki Dub Ainu Band, led by the Ainu Japanese musician Oki, in Germany in 2007Intermarriages between Japanese and Ainu were actively promoted by the Ainu to lessen the chances of discrimination against their offspring. As a result, many Ainu are indistinguishable from their Japanese neighbors, but some Ainu-Japanese are interested in traditional Ainu culture. For example, Oki, born as a child of an Ainu father and a Japanese mother, became a musician who plays the traditional Ainu instrument tonkori.[16] There are many small towns in the southeastern or Hidaka region where full-blooded Ainu may still be seen such as in Nibutani (Ainu: Niputay). Many such children live in Sambutsu especially, on the eastern coast.

Their most widely known ethnonym is derived from the word ainu, which means "human" (particularly as opposed to kamui, divine beings), basically neither ethnicity nor the name of a race, in the Hokkaidō dialects of the Ainu language; Emishi (Ebisu) and Ezo [endzo] (Yezo) (both 蝦夷) are Japanese terms, which are believed to derive from another word for "human", which otherwise survived in Sakhalin Ainu as enciw or enju. Today, many Ainu dislike the term Ainu because it had once been used with derogatory nuance, and prefer to identify themselves as Utari (comrade in the Ainu language). Official documents use both names.

[edit] Official recognitionEdit

On June 6, 2008, a bi-partisan, non-binding resolution was approved by the Japanese Diet calling upon the government to recognize the Ainu people as indigenous to Japan, and urging an end to discrimination against the group. The resolution recognised the Ainu people as "an indigenous people with a distinct language, religion and culture", and rescinded the law passed in 1899.[12][17]

Though the resolution is historically significant, Hideaki Uemura, professor at Keisen University in Tokyo and a specialist in indigenous peoples' rights, commented that the motion is "weak in the sense of recognizing historical facts" as the Ainu were "forced" to become Japanese in the first place.[17]

[edit] OriginsEdit

The Ainu have often been considered to descend from the Jōmon-jin people, who lived in Japan from the Jōmon period.[18] One of their Yukar Upopo, or legends, tells that "The lived in this place a hundred thousand years before the Children of the Sun came." [19]

Ainu as it is known today dates from around the year 1200[4], and recent research suggests that it originated in a merger of the Okhotsk with the Satsumon, one of the ancient Japanese .[20] Their economy was based on farming, as well as hunting, fishing and gathering.[21] [9][10]Ainu man, circa 1880.Full-blooded Ainu are lighter skinned than their Japanese neighbors and have more body hair.[22] Many early investigators proposed a Caucasian ancestry,[23] although recent DNA tests have not shown any genetic similarity with modern caucasian Europeans. Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sussex said Kanzō Umehara considered the Ainu and Ryukyuans to have "preserved their proto-Mongoloid traits"[24]. Proto-Mongoloid features can be found in most Amerindians (Native Americans), while modern Mongoloid features are an adaption to the "cold". [25] According to anthropologist Elsie Clews Parsons physical features of the "Proto-Mongoloid" were characterized as, "a straight-haired type, medium in complexion, jaw protrusion, nose-breadth, and inclining probably to round-headedness".[26]

Ainu men have abundant, wavy hair and often have long beards. [27] In the book of "Ainu life and legends" by author Kyōsuke Kindaichi (published by the Japanese Tourist Board in 1942) contains the physical description of Ainu : Many have wavy hair, but some straight black hair. Very few of them have wavy brownish hair. Their skins are generally reported to be light brown. But this is due to the fact that they labor on the sea and in briny winds all day. Old people who have long desisted from their outdoor work are often found to be as white as western men. The Ainu have broad faces, beetling eyebrows, and large sunken eyes, which are generally horizontal and of the so-called European type. Eyes of the Mongolian type are hardly found among them.

Genetic testing of the has shown them to belong mainly to Y-haplogroup D2.[28] Y-DNA haplogroup D2 is found frequently throughout the Japanese Archipelago including Okinawa. The only places outside of Japan in which Y-haplogroup D is common are Tibet and the Andaman in the Indian Ocean.[29] Indigenous Ainu mtDNA are M7a and N9b which are believed to be linked with Jomon is found in over 10% of Mainland Japanese people and over 20% in Okinawans.[30][31] [11][12]1862 illustration of Ainu (left) and NivkhsIn a study by Tajima et al. (2004), two out of a sample of sixteen (or 12.5%) Ainu men have been found to belong to Haplogroup C3, which is the most common Y-chromosome haplogroup among the indigenous populations of the Russian Far East and Mongolia.[28] Hammer et al. (2006) have tested a sample of four Ainu men and have found that one of them belongs to haplogroup C3.[32] Some researchers have speculated that this minority of Haplogroup C3 carriers among the Ainu may reflect a certain degree of unidirectional genetic influence from the Nivkhs, a traditionally nomadic people of northern Sakhalin and the adjacent mainland, with whom the Ainu have long-standing cultural interactions.[28]

Based on analysis of one sample of 51 modern Ainus, their mtDNA lineages have been reported to consist mainly of haplogroup Y (11/51 = 21.6% according to Tanaka et al. 2004, or 10/51 = 19.6% according to Adachi et al. 2009, who have cited Tajima et al. 2004), haplogroup D (9/51 = 17.6%, particularly D4(xD1)), haplogroup M7a (8/51 = 15.7%), and haplogroup G1 (8/51 = 15.7%).[28][33][34]

Mitochondrial DNA haplogroup Y is otherwise found mainly among Nivkhs, and with lower frequency among Tungusic peoples, Koreans, Mongols (including Kalmyks and Buryats), Chinese, Japanese, Central Asians, South Siberian Turkic peoples (e.g. Tuvans, Todjins, Soyots), Koryaks, Alyutors, Itelmens, Taiwanese aborigines, Filipinos, Indonesians, and Malaysians. MtDNA Haplogroup D is found frequently throughout East Asia and Central Asia, and is also common in some populations of North Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Americas; in addition, it has been found with low frequency in some populations of Europe and Southwest Asia. Haplogroup M7a has been found elsewhere mainly among Japanese and Ryukyuans, and with lower frequency among Udegeys, Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos, Taiwanese aborigines, Buryats, Central Asians, and Waars of the Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya, India.[33][35][36][37][38][39] MtDNA Haplogroup G has been found most frequently among indigenous populations of easternmost Siberia, but it is also common among some populations of East Asia, Central Asia, the Altai-Sayan region of southern Siberia, and the sub-Himalayan region.

A recent reevaluation of cranial traits suggests that the Ainu resemble the Okhotsk more than they do the Jōmon.[40] This agrees with the reference to the Ainu being a merger of Okhotsk and Satsumon referenced above.

After a new wave of immigration, probably from the Korean Peninsula some 2,300 years ago, of the Yayoi people, the Jōmon were pushed into northern Japan. Genetic data suggest that modern Japanese are descended from both the Yayoi and the Jōmon.

[edit] GeographyEdit

[13][14]Historical expanse of AinuThe Ainu were distributed in the northern and central islands of Japan, from Sakhalin island in the north to the Kuril islands and the island of Hokkaidō and Northern Honshū, although some investigators place their former range as throughout Honshū and as far north as the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula in what is now Cape Lopatka. The island of Hokkaido was known to the Ainu as Ainu Moshir, and was formally annexed by the Japanese at the late date of 1868, partly as a means of preventing the intrusion of the Russians, and partly for imperialist reasons. [15][16]A group of Sakhalin Ainu around 1903According to the Russian Empire Census of 1897, 1446 persons in the Russian Empire reported Ainu language as their mother tongue, 1434 of them in Sakhalin Island.[41]

The southern half of Sakhalin was acquired by Japan as a result of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05, but at the end of World War II in 1945, the Soviets declared war on Japan and took possession of the Kuril islands and southern Sakhalin. The Ainu population, as previously Japanese subjects, were "repatriated" to Japan.

According to the 2002 Russian Federation census, no responders gave the ethnonym Ainu in boxes 7 or 9.2 in the K-1 form of the census,[42][43][44] though some still might exist.

The only Ainu speakers remaining (besides perhaps a few partial speakers) live solely in Japan. There, they are concentrated primarily on the southern and eastern coasts of the island of Hokkaidō.

Due to intermarriage with the Japanese and ongoing absorption into the predominant culture, there are no truly Ainu settlements existing in Japan today. The town of Nibutani (Ainu: Niputay) in Hidaka area (Hokkaido prefecture) has a number of Ainu households and a visit to some of the Ainu owned craft shops close to the Ainu museums (there are two of them in Nibutani) is an opportunity to interact with the Ainu people. Many "authentic Ainu villages" advertised in Hokkaido such as Akan and Shiraoi are tourist attractions and provide an opportunity to see and meet Ainu people.

[edit] LanguageEdit

Main article: Ainu languagesToday, it is estimated that fewer than 100 speakers of the language remain,[45] while other research places the number at fewer than 15 speakers – the language has been regarded as “endangered”.[46] As a result of this the study of the Ainu language is limited and is based largely on historical research.

The Ainu language is significantly different from the Japanese language in its syntax, phonology, morphology, and vocabulary.[citation needed] Although there have been attempts to show that they are related, modern scholars have rejected that the relationship goes beyond contact, such as the mutual borrowing of words between Japanese and Ainu.[47] In fact, no attempt to show a relationship with Ainu to any other language has gained wide acceptance, and Ainu is currently considered to be a language isolate.[48]

Words used as prepositions in English (such as to, from, by, in, and at) are postpositional in Ainu; they come after the word that they modify. A single sentence in Ainu can be made up of many added or agglutinated sounds or morphemes that represent nouns or ideas.

The Ainu language has had no system of writing, and has historically been transliterated by the Japanese kana or the Russian Cyrillic. Today, it is typically written in either katakana or Latin alphabet. The unwieldy nature of the Japanese kana with its inability to accurately represent terminal consonants has contributed to the degradation of the original Ainu. For example, some words, such as "Kor" (meaning "to hold"), are now pronounced with a terminal vowel sound, as in "Koro".

Many of the Ainu dialects, even from one end of Hokkaido to the other, were not mutually intelligible; however, the classic Ainu language of the Yukar, or Ainu epic stories, was understood by all. Without a writing system, the Ainu were masters of narration, with the Yukar and other forms of narration such as the Uepeker (Uwepeker) tales, being committed to memory and related at gatherings, often lasting many hours or even days.[49]

[edit] CultureEdit

Main articles: Ainu cuisine, Ainu music, and Yukar[17][18]Woman playing traditional Ainu instrument[19][20]Ainu ceremonial dress. British Museum.Traditional Ainu culture was quite different from Japanese culture. Never shaving after a certain age, the men had full beards and moustaches. Men and women alike cut their hair level with the shoulders at the sides of the head, trimmed semicircularly behind. The women tattooed their mouths, and sometimes the forearms. The mouth tattoos were started at a young age with a small spot on the upper lip, gradually increasing with size. The soot deposited on a pot hung over a fire of birch bark was used for color. Their traditional dress was a robe spun from the inner bark of the elm tree, called attusi or attush. Various styles of clothing were made, and consisted generally of a simple short robe with straight sleeves, which was folded around the body, and tied with a band about the waist. The sleeves ended at the wrist or forearm and the length generally was to the calves. Women also wore an undergarment of Japanese cloth.

Modern craftswomen weave and embroider traditional garments that command very high prices. In winter the skins of animals were worn, with leggings of deerskin and in Sakhalin, boots were made from the skin of dogs or salmon. Both sexes are fond of earrings, which are said to have been made of grapevine in former times, as also are bead necklaces called tamasay, which the women prized highly.

Their traditional cuisine consists of the flesh of bear, fox, wolf, badger, ox or horse, as well as fish, fowl, millet, vegetables, herbs, and roots. They never ate raw fish or flesh; it was always boiled or roasted.

Their traditional habitations were reed-thatched huts, the largest 20 ft (6 m) square, without partitions and having a fireplace in the center. There was no chimney, only a hole at the angle of the roof; there was one window on the eastern side and there were two doors. The house of the village head was used as a public meeting place when one was needed.

Instead of using furniture, they sat on the floor, which was covered with two layers of mats, one of rush, the other of a water plant with long sword shaped leaves (iris pseudacorus, whose English names include "water-flag"); and for beds they spread planks, hanging mats around them on poles, and employing skins for coverlets. The men used chopsticks when eating; the women had wooden spoons. Ainu cuisine is not commonly eaten outside Ainu communities; there are only a few Ainu-run restaurants in Japan, all located in Tokyo or Hokkaidō, serving primarily Japanese fare.

The functions of judgeship were not entrusted to chiefs; an indefinite number of a community's members sat in judgment upon its criminals. Capital punishment did not exist, nor did the community resort to imprisonment. Beating was considered a sufficient and final penalty. However, in the case of murder, the nose and ears of the culprit were cut off or the tendons of his feet severed.

[edit] HuntingEdit

The Ainu hunted from late autumn to early summer. The reasons for this were, among others, that in late autumn, plant gathering, salmon fishing and other activities of securing food came to an end, and hunters readily found game in fields and mountains in which plants had withered. A village possessed a hunting ground of its own or several villages used a joint hunting territory (iwor) . Heavy penalties were imposed on any outsiders trespassing on such hunting grounds or joint hunting territory. The Ainu hunted bear, Ezo deer (a subspecies of sika deer), rabbit, fox, raccoon dog and other animals. Ezo deer were a particularly important food resource for the Ainu as were salmon. They also hunted sea eagles such as white-tailed sea eagles, raven and other birds. The Ainu hunted eagles to obtain their tail feathers, which they used in trade with the Japanese. The Ainu hunted with arrows and spears with poison-coated points. They obtained the poison, called "surku", from the roots and stalks of aconites. The recipe for this poison was a household secret that differed from family to family. They enhanced the poison with mixtures of roots and stalks of dog's bane, boiled juice of Mekuragumo, Matsumomushi, tobacco, and other ingredients. They also used stingray stingers or skin covering stingers. They hunted in groups with dogs. Before the Ainu went hunting, for animals like bear in particular, they prayed to the god of fire and the house guardian god to convey their wishes for a large catch, and safe hunting to the god of mountains.

The Ainu usually hunted bear during the time of the spring thaw. At that time bears were weak because they had not fed at all during long hibernation. Ainu hunters caught hibernating bears or bears that had just left hibernation dens. When they hunted bear in summer, they used a spring trap loaded with an arrow, called an "amappo".

The Ainu usually used arrows to hunt deer. Also they often used traps, including spring traps loaded with arrows. Also, they drove deer into a river or sea and shot them with arrows. For a large catch, a whole village would drive a herd of deer off a cliff and club them to death.

[edit] ReligionEdit

Further information: Ainu creation mythThe Ainu are traditionally animists, believing that everything in nature has a kamuy (spirit or god) on the inside. There is a hierarchy of the kamui.

The most important is grandmother earth (fire), then kamui of the mountain (animals), then kamui of the sea (sea animals), lastly everything else. They have no priests by profession.

The village chief performs whatever religious ceremonies are necessary; ceremonies are confined to making libations of rice beer, uttering prayers, and offering willow sticks with wooden shavings attached to them. These sticks are called inaw (singular) and nusa (plural).

They are placed on an altar used to "send back" the spirits of killed animals. Ainu ceremonies for sending back bears are called Iomante. The Ainu people give thanks to the gods before eating and pray to the deity of fire in time of sickness. They believe their spirits are immortal, and that their spirits will be rewarded hereafter by ascending to kamui mosir (Land of the Gods).

The Ainu believe the bear is very special because they think the bear is the mountain kamuy's way of delivering the gift of bear hide and meat to the humans.

Some Ainu in the north are members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

[edit] OrnamentsEdit

Men wore a crown called "sapanpe" for important ceremonies. Sapanpe was made from wood fiber with bundles of partially-shaved wood. This crown had wooden figures of animal gods and other ornaments on its center. Men carried an "emush" (sword) secured by an "emush at" strap to their shoulders.

Women wore a "matanpushi" (embroidered headband) and "ninkari" (earrings).

Ninkari was a metal ring with a ball. Women wore it through a hole in the ear. Matanpushi and ninkari were originally worn by men. However, women wear them now. Furthermore, aprons called "maidari" now are a part of women's formal clothes. However, some old documents say that men wore maidari. Women sometimes wore a bracelet called "tekunkani."

Women wore a necklace called "rekutunpe," a long, narrow strip of cloth with metal plaques. They wore a necklace that reached the breast called a "tamasay" or "shitoki," usually made from glass balls. Some glass balls came from trade with the Asian continent. The Ainu also obtained glass balls secretly made by the Matsumae Clan.

[edit] HousingEdit

[21][22]Ainu houses (from Popular Science Monthly Volume 33, 1888)[23][24]Plan of an Ainu house[25][26]The family would gather around the fireplaceA village is called a "kotan" in the Ainu language. Kotan were located in river basins and seashores where food was readily available, particularly in the basins of rivers through which salmon went upstream. A village consisted basically of a paternal clan. The average number of families was four to seven, rarely reaching more than ten. In the early modern times, the Ainu people were forced to labor at the fishing grounds of the Japanese. Ainu kotan were also forced to move near fishing grounds so that the Japanese could secure a labor force. When the Japanese moved to other fishing grounds, Ainu kotan were also forced to accompany them. As a result, the traditional kotan disappeared and large villages of several dozen families were formed around the fishing grounds.

Kotan houses were made of cogon grasses, bamboo grass, barks, etc. The length lay east to west or parallel to a river. A house was about seven meters by five with an entrance at the west end that also served as a storeroom. The house had three windows, including the "rorun-puyar," a window located on the side facing the entrance (at the east side), through which gods entered and left and ceremonial tools were taken in and out. The Ainu have regarded this window as sacred and have been told never to look in through it. A house had a fireplace near the entrance. The husband and wife sat on the fireplace's left side (called "shiso") . Children and guests sat facing them on the fireplace's right side (called "harkiso"). The house had a platform for valuables called "iyoykir" behind the shiso. The Ainu placed "shintoko"(hokai) and "ikayop" (quivers) there.

Outbuildings included separate lavatories for men called "ashinru" and for women called "menokoru", a "pu" (storehouse) for food, a "heper set" (cage for young bear), and drying-racks for fish and wild plants. An altar "nusasan" faced the east side of the house (rorunpuyar). The Ainu held such ceremonies there as "lyomante," a ceremony to send the spirit of a bear to the gods.

[edit] Life of AinuEdit

The Ainu people had various types of marriage. A child was promised in marriage by arrangement between his or her parents and the parents of his or her betrothed or by a go-between. When the betrothed reached a marriageable age, they were told who their spouse was to be. There were also marriages based on mutual consent of both sexes. In some areas, when a daughter reached a marriageable age, her parents let her live in a small room called tunpu annexed to the southern wall of her house. The parents chose her spouse from men who visited her.

The age of marriage was 17–18 years old for men and 15–16 years for women, who were tattooed. At these ages, both sexes were regarded as adults.

When a man proposed to a woman, he visited her house, ate half a full bowl of rice handed to him by her, and returned the rest to her. If the woman ate the rest, she accepted his proposal. If she did not and put it beside her, she rejected his proposal. When a man became engaged to a woman or they learned that their engagement had been arranged, they exchanged gifts with each other. He sent her a small engraved knife, a workbox, a spool and other gifts. She sent him embroidered clothes, coverings for the back of the hand, Ieggings, and other handmade clothes. According to some books, many yomeiri marriages, in which a bride went to the house of a bridegroom with her belongings to become a member of his family, were conducted in the old days.

For a yomeiri marriage, a man and his father would bring betrothal gifts to the house of a woman, including a sword, a treasured sword, an ornamental quiver, a sword guard, and a woven basket (hokai). If the man and woman agreed to marry, the man and his father would bring her to their house or the man would stay at her house for a while and then bring her to his house. At the wedding ceremony, participants prayed to the god of fire. Bride and bridegroom respectively ate half of the rice served in a bowl, and other participants were entertained.

The worn-out fabric of old clothing was used for baby clothes because soft cloth was good for the skin of babies and worn-out material protected babies from gods of illness and demons due to these gods' abhorrence of dirty things. Before a baby was breast-fed, he/she was given a decoction of the endodermis of alder and the roots of butterburs to discharge impurities. Children were raised almost naked until about the ages of four to five. Even when they wore clothes, they did not wear belts and left the front of their clothes open. Subsequently they wore bark clothes without patterns, such as attush, until coming of age.

Newborn babies were named ayay (a baby's crying), shipo, poyshi (small excrement), shion (old excrement), etc. Children were called by these "temporary" names until the ages of two to three. They were not given permanent names when they were born. Their tentative names had a portion meaning "excrement" or "old things" to ward off the demon of ill-health. Some children were named based on their behavior or habits. Other children were named after impressive events or after parents' wishes for the future of the children. When children were named, they were never given the same names as others.

Men wore loincloths and had their hair dressed properly for the first time at age 15–16. Women were also considered adults at the age of 15–16. They wore underclothes called mour and had their hair dressed properly and wound waistcloths called raunkut, ponkut, etc. around their bodies. When women reached age 12–13, the lips, hands and arms were tattooed. When they reached age 15–16, their tattoos were completed. Thus were they qualified for marriage.

[edit] American continent connection theoryEdit

In the late 20th century, speculation arose that people of the group related to the Jōmon may have been one of the first to settle North America. This theory is based largely on skeletal and cultural evidence among tribes living in the western part of North America and certain parts[clarification needed] of South America.

It is possible that North America had several peoples among its early settlers—these relatives of the Jōmon being one of them. The best known evidence that may support this theory is probably Kennewick Man.[50][51]

Genetic mapping studies by Cavalli-Sforza have shown a sharp gradient in gene frequencies centered in the area around the Sea of Japan, and particularly in the Japanese Archipelago, that distinguishes these populations from others in the rest of eastern Asia and most of the American continent. This gradient appears as the third most important genetic movement (in other words, the third principal component of genetic variation) in Eurasia (after the "Great expansion" from Africa, which has a cline centered in Arabia and adjacent parts of the Middle East, and a second cline that distinguishes the northern regions of Eurasia, and particularly Siberia, from southerly parts of the continent), which would make it consistent with the early Jōmon period, or possibly even the pre-Jōmon period.[52]

[edit] InstitutionsEdit

[27][28]Ainu cultural promotion center and museum, in Sapporo (Sapporo Pirka Kotan)Most Hokkaido Ainu and some other Ainu are members of an umbrella group called the Hokkaido Utari Association. It was originally controlled by the government to speed Ainu assimilation and integration into the Japanese nation-state. It now is run exclusively by Ainu and operates mostly independently of the government.

Other key institutions include The Foundation for Research and Promotion of Ainu Culture (FRPAC), set up by the Japanese Government after enactment of the Ainu Culture Law in 1997, the Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies established in 2007, as well as museums and cultural centers. Ainu people living in Tokyo have also developed a vibrant political and cultural community.[53]

[edit] Current affairsEdit

[29][30]Unofficial flag of the Ainu people (proposed 1973)===[edit] Litigation=== On March 27, 1997, the Sapporo District Court decided a landmark case that, for the first time in Japanese history, recognized the right of the Ainu people to enjoy their distinct culture and traditions. The case arose because of a 1978 government plan to build two dams in the Saru River watershed in southern Hokkaido. The dams were part of a series of development projects under the Second National Development Plan that were intended to industrialize the north of Japan.[54] The planned location for one of the dams was across the valley floor close to Nibutani village,[55] the home of a large community of Ainu people and an important center of Ainu culture and history.[56] In the early 1980s when the government commenced construction on the dam, two Ainu landowners refused to agree to the expropriation of their land. These landowners were Kaizawa Tadashi and Kayano Shigeru—well-known and important leaders in the Ainu community.[57] After Kaizawa and Kayano declined to sell their land, the Hokkaido Development Bureau applied for and was subsequently granted a Project Authorization, which required the men to vacate their land. When their appeal of the Authorization was denied, Kayano and Kaizawa's son Koichii (Kaizawa died in 1992), filed suit against the Hokkaido Development Bureau.

The final decision denied the relief sought by the plaintiffs for pragmatic reasons—the dam was already standing—but the decision was nonetheless heralded as a landmark victory for the Ainu people. In short, nearly all of the plaintiffs' claims were recognized. Moreover, the decision marked the first time Japanese case law acknowledged the Ainu as an indigenous people and contemplated the responsibility of the Japanese nation to the indigenous people within its borders.[58] The decision included broad fact-finding that underscored the long history of the oppression of the Ainu people by Japan's majority, referred to as "Wajin" in the case and discussions about the case.[59] The legal roots of the decision can be found in Article 13 of Japan's Constitution, which protects the rights of the individual, and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.[60][61] The decision was issued on March 27, 1997, and because of the broad implications for Ainu rights, the plaintiffs decided not to appeal the decision, which became final two week later. After the decision was issued, on May 8, 1997, the Diet passed the Ainu Culture Law and repealed the Ainu Protection Act—the 1899 law that had been the vehicle of Ainu oppression for almost one hundred years.[62] While the Ainu Culture Law has been widely criticized for its shortcomings, the shift that it represents in Japan's view of the Ainu people is a testament to the importance of the Nibutani decision. In 2007 the 'Cultural Landscape along the Sarugawa River resulting from Ainu Tradition and Modern Settlement' was designated an Important Cultural Landscape.[63] A later action seeking restoration of Ainu assets held in trust by the Japanese Government was dismissed in 2008.[64]

[edit] Governmental advisory boardsEdit

Much national policy in Japan has been developed out of the action of governmental advisory boards, known as shingikai/審議会 in Japanese. One such committee operated in the late 1990s,[65] and its work resulted in the 1997 Ainu Culture Law.[66] This panel's circumstances were criticized for including not even a single Ainu person among its members.[65]

More recently, a panel was established in 2006, which notably was the first time an Ainu person was included. It completed its work in 2008 issuing a major report that included an extensive historical record and called for substantial government policy changes towards the Ainu.[citation needed]

[edit] Formation of Ainu political partyEdit

A group of Ainu activists in Hokkaido announced the formation of a political party for the Ainu on October 30, 2011. The Ainu Association of Hokkaido reported that Kayano Shiro, the son of the former Ainu leader Kayano Shigeru, will head the party. Their aim is to contribute to the realization of a multicultural and multiethnic society in Japan, along with rights for the Ainu.[67]; [68]

[edit] SubgroupsEdit

[31][32]People wearing traditional Ainu clothes in Hokkaido[33][34]Sakhalin Ainu men, photographed by Bronisław Piłsudski.[35][36]Kuril Ainu people in front of the traditional dwelling.*Hokkaido Ainu (the predominant community of Ainu in the world today) – A Japanese census in 1916 returned 13,557 pure blooded Ainu in addition to 4,550 multiracial individuals.[69]

  • Tokyo Ainu (a modern age migration of Hokkaido Ainu highlighted in a documentary film released in 2010,
  • Tohoku Ainu (from Honshū, no officially-acknowledged population exists) – 43 Ainu households scattered throughout the Tohoku region were reported during the 17th century.[70] There are people who consider themselves descendants of Shimokita Ainu on the Shimokita Peninsula, while the people on the Tsugaru Peninsula are generally considered as Yamato people but may be descendants of Tsugaru Ainu after cultural assimilation.[71]
  • Sakhalin Ainu – Pure blooded individuals may be surviving in Hokkaido. From both Northern and Southern Sakhalin, a total of 841 Ainu were relocated to Hokkaido in 1875 by Japan. Only a few in remote interior areas remained, as the island was turned over to Russia. Even when Japan was granted Southern Sakhalin in 1905, only a handful returned. Japanese census of 1905 counted only 120 Sakhalin Ainu (down from 841 in 1875, 93 in Karafuto and 27 in Hokkaido). Russian census of 1926 counted 5 Ainu, while several of their multiracial children were recorded as ethnic Nivkh, Slav or Uilta.
    • North Sakhalin – Only 5 pure blooded individuals were recorded during the 1926 Russian Census in Northern Sakhalin. Most of the Sakhalin Ainu (mainly from coastal areas) were relocated to Hokkaido in 1875 by Japan. The few remained (mainly from remote interior) were mostly married to Russians as can be seen from the works of Bronisław Piłsudski.[72]
    • Southern Sakhalin (Karafuto) – Japanese rule until 1945. Japan evacuated almost all the Ainus to Hokkaido after the WW2. Isolated individuals might have remained in Sakhalin.[73] In 1949, there were about 100 Ainu living in Russian Sakhalin.[74]
  • Northern Kuril Ainu (no known living population) – Also known as Kurile in Russian records. Were under Russian rule till 1875. First came under Japanese rule after the Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1875). Major population was on the island of Shumshu, with a few others in islands like Paramushir. Altogether they numbered 221 in 1860. They had Russian names, spoke Russian fluently and were Russian Orthodox in religion. As the islands were gifted to the Japanese, more than a hundred Ainu fled to Kamchatka along with their Russian employers (where they were assimilated in to the Kamchadal population).[74][75] Only about half remained under Japanese rule. In order to derussify the Kurile, the entire population of 97 individuals were relocated to Shikotan in 1884, given Japanese names and children were enrolled in to Japanese schools. Unlike the other Ainu groups, the Kurile failed to adjust to their new surroundings and by 1933 only 10 individuals were alive (plus another 34 multiracial individuals). The last group of 20 individuals (including a few pure bloods) were evacuated to Hokkaido in 1941, where they vanished as a separate ethnic group soon after.[72]
  • Southern Kuril Ainu (no known living population) – Numbered almost 2,000 people (mainly in Kunashir, Iturup and Urup) during the 18th century. In 1884, their population had decreased to 500. Around 50 individuals (mostly multiracial) who remained in 1941 were evacuated to Hokkaido by the Japanese soon after WW2.[74] The last of the tribe, Tanaka Kinu died in Hokkaido in 1973.[76]
  • Kamchatka Ainu (no known living population) – Known as Kamchatka Kurile in Russian records. Ceased to exist as a separate ethnic group after their defeat in 1706 by the Russians. Individuals were assimilated in to the Kurile and Kamchadal ethnic groups. Last recorded in 18th century by Russian explorers.[77]
  • Amur Valley Ainu (probably none remain) – a few individuals married to ethnic Russians and ethnic Ulchi reported by Bronisław Piłsudski in early 20th century.[78] Only 26 pure blooded individuals were recorded during the 1926 Russian Census in Nikolaevski Okrug (present day Николаевский район Nikolaevskij Region/District).[79] Probably assimilated in to the Slavic rural population. Although no one identifies as Ainu nowadays in Khabarovsk Krai, there are a large number of ethnic Ulch with partial Ainu ancestry.[80][81]

[edit] See alsoEdit

[edit] NotesEdit

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  2. ^ Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) (2005). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (15th ed.). Dallas: SIL International. ISBN 1-55671-159-X. OCLC 224749653. . OCLC 60338097.
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of bilingualism and bilingual education, Volume 1997 By Colin Baker, Sylvia Prys Jones
  4. ^ a b "The Boone Collection – Image Gallery: Ainu Artifacts". Field Museum of Natural History. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c Sato, Takehiro; et al. (2007). "Origins and genetic features of the Okhotsk people, revealed by ancient mitochondrial DNA analysis". Journal of Human Genetics 52 (7): 618–627. doi:10.1007/s10038-007-0164-z
  6. ^ "第59回 交易の民アイヌ Ⅶ 元との戦い" (in Japanese). Asahikawa City. June 2, 2010. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  7. ^ Weiner, M (eds) 1997, Japan’s Minorities: The Illusion of Homogeneity, Routledge, London.
  8. ^ "NOVA Online – Island of the Spirits – Origins of the Ainu". Retrieved on May 8, 2008.
  9. ^ a b Brett L. Walker, The conquest of Ainu Lands:Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion 1590-1800-University of California Press,2001,Pages 49–56,61–71 and Pages 172–176
  10. ^ Sjöberg, K 1993, The Return of the Ainu, Harwood Academic Publishers, Switzerland.
  11. ^ Loos, N & Osani, T 1993, Indigenous Minorities and Education, Sanyusha Publishing Co., Ltd., Tokyo.
  12. ^ a b Fogarty, Philippa (June 6, 2008). "Recognition at last for Japan's Ainu". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved June 7, 2008.
  13. ^ Siddle, R., Race, Resistance, and the Ainu of Japan (Routledge, 1996) p. 51.
  14. ^ Sjöberg, K 1993, The Return of the Ainu, Harwood Academic Publishers, Switzerland, p. 117.
  15. ^ Levinson, David (2002). Encyclopedia of modern Asia, Volume 1. Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 72. ISBN 9780684806174.
  16. ^ "アイヌ⇔ダブ越境!異彩を放つOKIの新作" (in Japanese). HMV Japan. May 23, 2006. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
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  18. ^ Denoon, Donald; Hudson, Mark (2001). Multicultural Japan: palaeolithic to postmodern. Cambridge University Press. pp. 22–23. ISBN 0521003628.
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  20. ^ Sato, Takehiro; et al. (2007). "Origins and genetic features of the Okhotsk people, revealed by ancient mitochondrial DNA analysis". Journal of Human Genetics 52 (7): 618–627. doi:10.1007/s10038-007-0164-z. PMID 17568987.
  21. ^ "NOVA Online – of the Spirits – Origins of the Ainu". Retrieved May 8, 2008.
  22. ^ Travis, John "Jomon Genes:Using DNA, researchers probe the genetic origins of modern Japanese" Science News February 15, 1997 Vol. 151 No. 7 p. 106 [1]
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  24. ^ Sleeboom, Margaret. Academic Nations in China and Japan. Routledge: UK, 2004. ISBN 0-415-31545-X p.56
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  26. ^ Worthington, Elsie. North American Indian Life: Customs and Traditions of 23 Tribes. University of Nebraska Press: USA, 1967. ISBN 0-486-27377-6 p. 7
  27. ^ Ohnuki-Tierney, Emiko (1981). Illness and healing among the Sakhalin Ainu: a symbolic interpretation. Cambridge University Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0521236362.,&hl=en&ei=ht7DTpyhHYvHtAa_2qTcCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Ainu%20%20%20long%20beards%2C&f=false.
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  32. ^ Hammer, Michael F.; et al. (2006). "Dual origins of the Japanese: Common ground for hunter-gatherer and farmer Y chromosomes". Journal of Human Genetics 51 (1): 47–58. doi:10.1007/s10038-005-0322-0. PMID 16328082.
  33. ^ a b Tanaka, Masashi; et al. (2004). Genome Research 14 (10A): 1832–1850. doi:10.1101/gr.2286304. PMC 524407. PMID 15466285.
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  35. ^ Han-Jun Jin, Ki-Cheol Kim, and Wook Kim, "Genetic Diversity of Two Haploid Markers in the Udegey Population From Southeastern Siberia," American Journal of Physical Anthropology (2010)
  36. ^ Miroslava Derenko, Boris Malyarchuk, Tomasz Grzybowski, Galina Denisova, Irina Dambueva, Maria Perkova, Choduraa Dorzhu, Faina Luzina, Hong Kyu Lee, Tomas Vanecek, Richard Villems, and Ilia Zakharov, "Phylogeographic Analysis of Mitochondrial DNA in Northern Asian Populations," American Journal of Human Genetics, 2007 November; 81(5): 1025–1041.
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  51. ^ ANTHROPOLOGY: Kennewick Man's Contemporaries, Science.
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  53. ^ Links to these organizations needed, also Tokyo Ainu documentary,, and has links to Tokyo area Ainu groups.
  54. ^ Mark A. Levin, Essential Commodities and Racial Justice: Using Constitutional Protection of Japan’s Indigenous Ainu People to Inform Understandings of the United States and Japan, New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, Vol. 33, pp. 445-46, 2001
  55. ^ Levin, Mark (trans.), Kayano et al. v. Hokkaido Expropriation Committee: ‘The Nibutani Dam Decision’ (1999). International Legal Materials, Vol. 38, p. 394, 1999. Available at SSRN: p. 11
  56. ^ Mark A. Levin, Essential Commodities p. 447
  57. ^ Idem., p. 443
  58. ^ Nibutani Dam Decision (Levin trans.); see also Idem., p. 442
  59. ^ Nibutani Dam Decision (Levin trans.); see also Mark A. Levin, The Wajin’s Whiteness: Law and Race Privilege in Japan, Horitsu Jiho, Vol. 80, No. 2, 2008
  60. ^ "Constitution of Japan".
  61. ^ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  62. ^ Act for the Promotion of Ainu Culture & Dissemination of Knowledge Regarding Ainu Traditions (Hitchingham trans.); see also, Mark A. Levin, Essential Commodities p. 467
  63. ^ "Database of Registered National Cultural Properties". Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  64. ^ Citation to Levin and Tsunemoto in Oklahoma Law Review
  65. ^ a b Citation to Siddle's book
  66. ^ Act for the Promotion of Ainu Culture & Dissemination of Knowledge Regarding Ainu Traditions (Hitchingham trans.)
  67. ^ [3]
  68. ^ [4]
  69. ^ Siddle, Richard (1996). Race, resistance and the Ainu of Japan. ISBN 9780415132282.
  70. ^ Honda, Katsuichi (2000). Harukor: an Ainu woman's tale. University of California Press via Google Books. p. 7.
  71. ^ "Ⅵ 〈東北〉史の意味と射程" (in Japanese). Joetsu University of Education. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  72. ^ a b Howell, David L. (2005). Geographies of identity in nineteenth-century Japan. University of California Press via Google Books. p. 187.
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  75. ^ Minichiello, Sharon (1998). Japan's competing modernities: issues in culture and democracy, 1900-1930. University of Hawaii Press via Google Books. p. 163.
  76. ^
  77. ^ Shibatani, Masayoshi (1990). The languages of Japan. Cambridge University Press via Google Books. p. 3.
  78. ^ Piłsudski, Bronisław; Majewicz, Alfred F. (2004). The collected works of Bronisław Piłsudski Volume 3. Walter de Gruyter via Google Books. p. 816.
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  80. ^ Shaman: an international journal for Shamanistic research, Volumes 4-5 p.155
  81. ^ Piłsudski, Bronisław; Majewicz, Alfred F. (2004). The collected works of Bronisław Piłsudski Volume 3. Walter de Gruyter via Google Books. p. 37.

Japan Times. Ainu Plan Group for Upper House Run, October 31, 2011.

[edit] References and further readingEdit

[37] This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

  • Batchelor, John (1901). "On the Ainu Term `Kamui". The Ainu and Their Folklore. London: Religious Tract Society.
  • Etter, Carl (2004) [1949]. Ainu Folklore: Traditions and Culture of the Vanishing Aborigines of Japan. Whitfish, MT: Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1417976977.
  • Fitzhugh, William W.; Dubreuil, Chisato O. (1999). Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 0295979127. OCLC 42801973.
  • Honda Katsuichi (1993) (in Japanese). Ainu Minzoku. Tokyo: Asahi Shimbun Publishing. ISBN 4022565772. OCLC 29601145.
  • Ichiro Hori (1968). Folk Religion in Japan: Continuity and Change. Haskell lectures on History of religions. 1. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Junko Habu (2004). Ancient Jomon of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521776708. OCLC 53131386.
  • Hitchingham, Masako Yoshida (trans.),Act for the Promotion of Ainu Culture & Dissemination of Knowledge Regarding Ainu Traditions, Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, vol. 1, no. 1 (2000).
  • Kayano, Shigeru (1994). Our Land Was A Forest: An Ainu Memoir. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-1880-7. ISBN 978-0-8133-1880-6.
  • Landor, A. Henry Savage (1893). Alone with the Hairy Ainu. Or, 3,800 miles on a Pack Saddle in Yezo and a Cruise to the Kurile Islands. London: John Murray.
  • Levin, Mark, Essential Commodities and Racial Justice: Using Constitutional Protection of Japan’s Indigenous Ainu People to Inform Understandings of the United States and Japan (2001). New York University of International Law and Politics, Vol. 33, p, 419, 2001 . Available at SSRN:
  • Levin, Mark (trans.), Kayano et al. v. Hokkaido Expropriation Committee: ‘The Nibutani Dam Decision’ (1999). International Legal Materials, Vol. 38, p. 394, 1999. Available at SSRN:
  • Siddle, Richard (1996). Race, Resistance and the Ainu of Japan. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415132282. OCLC 33947034 243850790 33947034.
  • Starr, Frederick (1905). "The Hairy Ainu of Japan". Proceedings of the Second Yearly Meeting of the Iowa Anthopological Association (Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa).
  • Walker, Brett (2001). The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion, 1590–1800. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0520227360. OCLC 59471355 70749620 45958211 59471355 70749620.
  • Article on the Ainu in Japan's Minorities: The Illusion of Homogeneity.

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