What comes to mind when you hear “Ainu scholarship”?
Have you read any first-hand narratives from Ainu people, or have you experienced challenges finding literature that talks about the everyday life of the Ainu? Unfortunately, most literature about the Ainu lacks the voices and perspectives of the Ainu people. AinuToday can provide you with relevant literature and information about the everyday life of the Ainu, written by Ainu people and scholars themselves.
Who are the Ainu people?
The Ainu are a Northern people of Japan, and were officially recognized as Indigenous people by the Japanese government in 2008. Ainu means human being in the Ainu language. The Ainu have traditionally lived in the geographic area of the Kurile Islands, southern Sakhalin, Hokkaido and part of Honshu (the largest island within the Japanese archipelago). Ainu traditional livelihood was based on hunting, fishing, and foraging wild plants and herbs. These activities still remain, to some extent, part of the contemporary livelihood of the Ainu. Such cultural practices and traditional knowledge offer a new opportunity for us to understand nature and our way of living. The Ainu share a similar history with many other Indigenous peoples around the world who have once lost their cultures and languages under assimilation policies set by colonial governments.
Within academia, Siddle (1996) describes how the Japanese academic landscape took shape under the influence of discourses on “race” and Social Darwinism. This resulted in the Ainu becoming a fascinating research “object” in Japan.
Now, Ainu contemporary life is deeply intertwined with Japanese society, with people of Ainu descent enrolling in the Japanese education system and speaking Japanese as their mother tongue. There is no ethnic-based national census in Japan, and therefore, the Ainu population in Japan remains uncertain. However, Ainu political movements and Ainu Studies continue evolving to shape a new ground to position Ainu voices within the framework of public and academic discourse.
Ainu: 150 years of resilience: Lecture by Dr. Kanako Uzawa
Centre for Japanese Research, The University of British Columbia, Canada.
Ainu: the indigenous people of Japanese islands. A history of discrimination through the eyes of Taichi Kaizawa: Lecture by Mr. Taichi Kaizawa (日本語 and English)
Hunter College, New York.
‘What does it mean to be Ainu in the twenty-first century? Ainu authenticity‘, Guest lecture by Dr. Kanako Uzawa
David Lam Centre, Simon Fraser University, Canada.
Date: June 21, 2021
Editor’s Note: Sources in bold and underlined typeface are Aynupuri. While the term Aynupuri is traditionally explained and understood among Ainu as an act of doing or practicing Ainu traditional ways, we use the term Aynupuri to denote Ainu ways of being or doing. In other words, we view Aynupuri as referring to indigeneity, and connoting self-determination and the ability to decide how one wishes to express one’s being and experiences without external interference. This understanding of Aynupuri allows Ainu people living throughout Japan or overseas—to free themselves from essentialized representations of what it means to be Ainu.
- 上村英明(2008) 「『先住民族の権利に関する国連宣言』獲得への長い道のり」『PRIME』第27号
- 上村英明(2008) 『アイヌ民族の視点からみた「先住民族の権利に関する国際連合宣言」の解説と利用法』市民外交センター
- 先住民族の10年ニュース バックナンバー
- 小野 有五（2022）『「新しいアイヌ学」のすすめ−−知里幸恵の夢をもとめて』藤原書店
- テッサ・モーリス＝スズキ(Tessa Morris-Suzuki)（2020）『アイヌの権利とは何か：新法・象徴空間・東京五輪と先住民族』かわがわ出版
- 合田 一道（2021）『「アイヌ新聞」記者 高橋真−−反骨孤高の新聞人』藤原書店
- 石原 真衣（2020）『〈沈黙〉の自伝的民族誌 (オートエスノグラフィー) サイレント・アイヌの痛みと救済の物語』北海道大学出版会
- 宇梶 静江（2011）『すべてを明日の糧として』清流出版
- 宇梶 静江（2020）『大地よ! ––アイヌの母神、宇梶静江自伝』藤原書店
- 宇梶 静江（2022）『アイヌ力よ！––次世代へのメッセージ』藤原書店
- 宇梶 静江・鮫島 純子 （2022）『奇跡の対話––渋沢栄一の孫とアイヌの母神』藤原書店
- Atuy (2002)『アト゜イ・俺は魂をデザインする』北海道新聞社
- 中川裕（2021）『ニューエクスプレス プラス アイヌ語』白水社
- 宇井眞紀子（2001）『アイヌときどき日本人』写真集 社会評論社
- 貝澤徹（2020）「「伝統」と「アート」の葛藤と融合」『問いかけるアイヌ ・アート』（What Ainu Art Asks from Us)岩波書店
- 札幌大学ウレシパクラブ（2013）『ウレシパ オルシペ――アイヌ文化で育てあう日々』一般社団法人 札幌大学ウレシパクラブ
Abe, Chisato. 2018. “Establishment of the Ainu Indigenous People’s Film Society.” In Indigenous Efflorescence: Beyond Revitalization in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir, edited by Gerald Roche, Hiroshi Maruyama, and Åsa Virdi Kroik, 99-102. Acton: ANU Press. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22459/IE.2018
Ishihara, Mai. 2018. “Chinmoku wo tou: ‘sairento Ainu’ toiu mou hitotsu no senjūmin mondai (Calling into Silence: “Silent Ainu” as Another Issue of the Current Indigenous Situation).” Journal of the Center for Northern Humanities 11: 3–21. Accessed 10 June 2019. https://eprints.lib.hokudai.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2115/70071/1/11_02_ishihara.pdf (Japanese)
Kaizawa, Koichi. 2004. “Inheriting Ainu Ethnicity,” Senri Ethnological Studies 66: 7-9. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://minpaku.repo.nii.ac.jp/index.php?action=pages_view_main&active_action=repository_action_common_download&item_id=2691&item_no=1&attribute_id=18&file_no=1&page_id=13&block_id=21
Loos, Noel and Takeshi Osanai (eds.). 1993. Indigenous Minorities and Education: Australian and Japanese Perspectives of their Indigenous Peoples, the Ainu, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. Tokyo: Sanyūsha Publishing Co. Ltd., 1993. Accessed July 1, 2021: https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/285040
Maruyama, Masazumi. 2003. “The Ainu: A Discourse on being Japanese.” In The Emerging Monoculture: Assimilation and the ‘Model Minority’, edited by Eric Mark Kramer, 85-109. London: Praeger. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://publisher.abc-clio.com/9780313059537
Morris-Suzuki, Tessa. 2000. “Roads to Otherness: Ainu and Identity Politics in Twentieth Century Japan.” In Papers of the 10th Biennial Conference of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia: Japanese Studies: Communities, Cultures Critiques. Volume One: Re-Mapping Japan, edited by Vera Mackie, Alina Skoutarides and Alison Tokita, 35-59. Clayton: Monash Asia Institute. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/105445
Morris-Suzuki, Tessa. 2001. “Northern Lights: The Making and Unmaking of Karafuto Identity.” Journal of Asian Studies 60(3): 645-671.
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Sunazawa, Kayo. 2014. “As a Child of Ainu,” foreword by ann-elise lewallen. In Beyond Ainu Studies: Changing Academic and Public Perspectives, edited by Mark Hudson, ann-elise lewallen and Mark K. Watson, 92-98. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9780824839185
Tahara, Ryoko. 2018. “Ainu Women in the Past and Now,” translated by Hiroshi Maruyama. In Indigenous Efflorescence: Beyond Revitalization in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir, edited by Gerald Roche, Hiroshi Maruyama, and Åsa Virdi Kroik, 151-156. Acton: ANU Press. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22459/IE.2018
Ukaji, Shizue. 2018. “A Quest for What We Ainu Are,” translated by Hiroshi Maruyama. In Indigenous Efflorescence: Beyond Revitalization in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir, edited by Gerald Roche, Hiroshi Maruyama, and Åsa Virdi Kroik, 169-173. Acton: ANU Press. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22459/IE.2018
Uzawa, Kanako. 2018. “Everyday Acts of Resurgence and Diasporic Indigeneity among the Ainu of Tokyo.” In Indigenous Efflorescence: Beyond Revitalization in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir, edited by Gerald Roche, Hiroshi Maruyama, and Åsa Virdi Kroik, 179-203. Acton: ANU Press. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22459/IE.2018
Uzawa, Kanako. 2019a. “What Does Ainu Cultural Revitalization Mean to Ainu and Wajin Youth in the 21st Century? Case Study of Urespa as a Place to Learn Ainu culture in the City of Sapporo, Japan.” AlterNative 15(2): 168-179. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1177180119846665
Uzawa, Kanako. 2019b. “Being Ainu Today: Living in the Past, Present, and Future.” Kyoto Journal 98: 62–65
Uzawa, Kanako and Mark K. Watson. 2020a. “Urespa (“Growing Together”): The Remaking of Ainu-Wajin Relations in Japan through an Innovative Social Venture.” Asian Anthropology 19(1): 53-71. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1683478X.2019.1699599
Uzawa, Kanako. 2020b. “‘Crafting our Future Together’: Urban Diasporic Indigeneity from an Ainu Perspective in Japan.” Ph.D. diss., The Arctic University of Norway (UiT). DOI: https://hdl.handle.net/10037/17182
Uzawa, Kanako. 2023. “Hidden Stories of Ainu in Tokyo.” In Urban Indigeneities: Being Indigenous in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Dana Brablec and Andrew Canessa. Tucson: The Univeristy of Arizona Press.
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Watson, Mark K. 2014a. “Tokyo Ainu and the Urban Indigenous Experience.” In Beyond Ainu Studies: Changing Academic and Public Perspectives, edited by Hudson, Mark J., ann-elise lewallen, and Mark K. Watson, 69-85. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
Watson, Mark K. 2014b. Japan’s Ainu Minority in Tokyo: Diasporic Indigeneity and Urban Politics. New York: Routledge.
Antiga Edizioni (publishing house). 2018. Contemporary Japanese Artists: Ainu. Grafiche Antiga Spa, Italy: Imago Mundi Luciano Benetton Collection. Accessed May 18, 2021. http://imagomundiart.com/collections/ainu-contemporary-japanese-artists (English, Japanese, and Italian)
Committee to Organize “Exhibition of AINU Pictures to Promote Human Rights” (creator). 1991. Exhibition of Ainu Pictures to Promote Human Rights. Sapporo: Hashimoto Printing Co. (Japanese, some English)
Dubreuil, Chisato (Kitty). 2007. “The Ainu and Their Culture: A Critical Twenty-First Century Assessment.” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus 5(11). Article ID 2589. Accessed May 24, 2021. https://apjjf.org/-Chisato-Kitty-Dubreuil/2589/article.html
Foundation for Research and Promotion of Ainu Culture (FRPAC). 1999. The Seasons and Life of the Ainu: Tokachi Ainu and the Painter Byōzan Hirasawa. Sapporo: The Executive Committee of the Exhibition The Season and Life of the Ainu. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://books.google.com/books/about/The_seasons_and_life_of_the_Ainu.html?id=pUv8GwAACAAJ
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Higashimura, Takeshi. 2010. “Eyes of Photographers and Critics of Pictures of the Ainu: Photography Magazines between the 1950s and the Early 70s and Genichiro Kakegawa.” Forum of International Development Studies 39: 19-39. Accessed May 18, 2021. https://www.gsid.nagoya-u.ac.jp/bpub/research/public/forum/39/02.pdf (Japanese)
Ikeda, Hiroshi (photographer). 2019. Ainu. Tokyo: Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. (Japanese and English)
Kayano, Shigeru. 1989. The Ainu: A Story of Japan’s Original People. Translated by Peter Howlett and Richard McNamara. Illustrated by Shunichi Iijima. Boston: Periplus Editions. [Children’s picture book]
Kōji Yūki. 2014 . “Message from Ainu-Mosir (Poem).” In Beyond Ainu Studies: Changing Academic and Public Perspectives, edited by Hudson, Mark J., ann-elise lewallen, and Mark K. Watson: xi. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9780824839185
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Shinoda, Mana. 2018 “Living a Modern Life in Hokkaidō as a Young Ainu Dancer,” translated by Hiroshi Maruyama. In Indigenous Efflorescence: Beyond Revitalization in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir, edited by Gerald Roche, Hiroshi Maruyama, and Åsa Virdi Kroik: 163-186. Acton: ANU Press. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22459/IE.2018
Tsuda, Nobuko. 2014a. “Our Ancestors’ Handprints: The Evolution of Ainu Women’s Clothing Culture,” foreword and translated by ann-elise lewallen. In Beyond Ainu Studies: Changing Academic and Public Perspectives, edited by. Mark Hudson, ann-elise lewallen and Mark K. Watson, 153-170. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9780824839185
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Tsuda, Nobuko. 2018. “Heading towards the Restoration and Transmission of Ainu Culture,” translated by Hiroshi Maruyama. In Indigenous Efflorescence: Beyond Revitalization in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir, edited by Gerald Roche, Hiroshi Maruyama, and Åsa Virdi Kroik, 157-161. Acton: ANU Press. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22459/IE.2018
Ui, Makiko. (photographer). 2011. アイヌ、風の肖像 (Ainu, Portrait of the Wind). Tokyo: Shinsensha. (Japanese and English)
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Strong, Sarah Mehlhop. 2011. Ainu Spirits Singing: The Living World of Chiri Yukie’s Ainu Shinyoshu. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Biratori Ainu Culture Preservation Group (BACPG), with Taichi Kaizawa, Koichi Kaizawa, Miwako Kaizawa, Hidetomo Iwano, Satomi Ishii, and Harriet Kuhnlein. 2021. “Global Health Case Study: Biratori Town, Ainu, Saru River Region, Japan.” Montreal: McGill University Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment. Accessed September 6, 2021. https://www.mcgill.ca/cine/resources/data/ainu
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