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.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Peng, Fred. 1978. “Education: An Agent of Social Change in Ainu Community Life.” In Learning to be Japanese: Selected Readings on Japanese Society and Education, edited by Edward R. Beauchamp, 265-288. Hamden: Linnet Books. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://www.worldcat.org/title/learning-to-be-japanese-selected-readings-on-japanese-society-and-education/oclc/3481590
Sasaki, Masao. 1973. “Henshūkōki [編集後記; Editor’s Postscript].” Anutari Ainu 1:8. (Japanese).
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
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
Hayashi-Simpliciano, Ronda Shizuko. 2020. “Charanke and Hip Hop: The Argument for Re-storying the Education of Ainu in Diaspora Through Performance Ethnography.” PhD diss., University of Hawai’i. Accessed May 24, 2021. https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/70367
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
Maesawa, Taka (photographer). 2018. Bridging Life Across the Ainu Generations. Hokkaido: Fujida Printing Company. (Japanese and English)
Sakai, Mina. 2008. “Ainu no hakori [アイヌの誇り; Ainu Pride].” Days Japan 5(2): 10-17. (Japanese)
Sarashina, Genzō (author) and Kakegawa, Gen’ichirō (photographer). 1968. アイヌの四季(Ainu Seasons). Tokyo: Tankōsha. (Japanese)
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
Tsuda, Nobuko. 2014b. “Ainu ibunka no kenkyū (アイヌ衣文化の研究; Study on Ainu Clothing Culture.)” Ph.D. diss., Sokendai (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies). Accessed May 24, 2021. https://ir.soken.ac.jp/?action=pages_view_main&active_action=repository_view_main_item_detail&item_id=5035&item_no=1&page_id=29&block_id=155&fbclid=IwAR3V2fhn3wdsG78PrFTvQNtbXQfTnxqwWisvy8A4m05HHBAini2INikf-TE
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)
Uzawa, Kanako. 2014. “Charanke,” Beyond Ainu Studies: Changing Academic and Public Perspectives, edited by Mark Hudson, ann-elise lewallen and Mark K. Watson, 87-91. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9780824839185
Osami, Gizo. 1996. Uepekere of Chitose: Thirteen Stories from the Land of the Ainu, translated by Yuji Yaguchi, with illustrations by Keizanurou Tejima. Sapporo: Kyobunsha.
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
Keira, Tomoko. 2018. The Spirit of Huci: Four Seasons of an Ainu Woman. Sapporo: Jurousha Co. Ltd.
Kitahara, Jirouta. 2011. “Life and Health Perspectives in Ainu Culture.” Journal of Japan Academy of Nursing Science, 31(2): 84–86. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5630/jans.31.2_84 ( Japanese)
The Association of Rera. 1997. Rera Cise e no Michi – Kōshite Tokyo ni Ainu Ryōriten ga Dekita (レラチセへの道：こうして東京にアイヌ調理店が出来た; The Road Towards the Rera Cise: The Making of an Ainu Restaurant in Tokyo). Tokyo: Gendai Kikakushitsu. (Japanese)
Uzawa, Kanako. 2019. “Being Ainu Today: Living in the past, present, and future.” Kyoto Journal 98: 62–65.
Chikap, Mieko. 1989. “Long, Cold Winter: An Ainu Childhood Recalled.” AMPO: Japan-Asia Quarterly Review 20(4): 32-39.
Kayano, Shigeru. 1994. . Our Land Was a Forest: An Ainu Memoir, translated by Kyoko Selden and Lili Selden. Boulder: Westview Press.
Kayano, Shigeru. 1990. Ainu no ishibumi (アイヌの碑；Ainu Memorial). Tokyo: Asahi shinbun sha. (Japanese)
Anderson, Fred E. and Masami Iwasaki-Goodman. 2001. “Language and Culture Revitalisation in a Hokkaido Ainu Community.” In Studies in Japanese Bilingualism, edited by Mary Goebel Noguchi and Sandra Fotos, 45-67. Clevedon.: Multilingual Matters. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://www.multilingual-matters.com/page/detail/Studies-in-Japanese-Bilingualism/?k=9781853594892
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Kitahara, Jirouta. 2019. “Current Status of Ainu Cultural Revitalization.’ In Being Indigenous: Perspectives on Activism, Culture, Language and Identity, edited by Neyooxet Greymorning, 187–200. New York: Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429454776
Maruyama, Hiroshi. 2014. “Japan’s Policies towards the Ainu Language and Culture with Special Reference to North Fennoscandian Sami Policies.” Acta Borealia 31(2): 152-175. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08003831.2014.967980
Refsing, Kirsten. 2000. “Lost Aryans? John Batchelor and the Colonization of the Ainu Language.” Interventions 2(1): 21-34. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/136980100360779
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Cheung, Sidney C.H. 1995. “Hairy Others: Ainu Identities in Japan; the Ainu, Photography and Modern Man.” In Racial Identities in East Asia, edited by Barry Sautman, 237-250. Hong Kong: Division of Social Science.
Cheung, Sidney C.H. 2003. “Ainu Culture in Transition.” Futures 35(9): 951-959. DOI: https://doi-org.proxy.library.ucsb.edu:9443/10.1016/S0016-3287(03)00051-X
Cheung, Sidney C.H. 2004. “Japanese Anthropology and Depictions of the Ainu.” In The Making of Anthropology in East and Southeast Asia, edited by Shinji Yamashita, Joseph Bosco and J.S. Eades, 136-151. New York: Berghahn Books. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/YamashitaMaking
Deriha, Kōji. 2014. “Trade and the Paradigm Shift on Ainu Hunting Practices.” Translated by ann-elise lewallen. In Beyond Ainu Studies: Changing Academic and Public Perspectives, edited by Hudson, Mark J., ann-elise lewallen, and Mark K. Watson: 136-149. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
Hanazaki, Kōhei. 1996. “Ainu Moshir and Yaponesia: Ainu and Okinawan Identities in Contemporary Japan.” Translated by Mark Hudson. In Multicultural Japan: Paleolithic to Postmodern, edited by Donald Denoon, Mark Hudson, Gavan McCormack, and Tessa Morris-Suzuki, 117-131. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
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Hudson, Mark. 1999. Ruins of Identity: Ethnogenesis in the Japanese Islands. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
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Kaoru Tezuka. 1998. “Long-Distance Trade Networks and Shipping in the Ezo Region.” Arctic Anthropology 35(1): 350-360. DOI: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40316475
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lewallen, ann-elise. 2007. “Bones of Contention: Negotiating Anthropological Ethics within Fields of Ainu Refusal,” Critical Asian Studies 39(4): 509-540. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14672710701686026
lewallen, ann-elise. 2014. “The Gender of Cloth: Ainu Women and Cultural Revitalization.” In Beyond Ainu Studies: Changing Academic and Public Perspectives, edited by Hudson, Mark J., ann-elise lewallen, and Mark K. Watson, 171-184. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
lewallen, ann-elise. 2016a. “‘Clamoring Blood’: The Materiality of Belonging in Modern Japan.” Critical Asian Studies 48(1): 50-76. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14672715.2015.1131400
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Ohnuki-Tierney, Emiko. 1976. “Regional Variations in Ainu Culture.” American Ethnologist 3(2): 297-329. DOI: https://www.jstor.org/stable/643582
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Sekiguchi, Yoshihiko. 2007. “Shutoken ni Ikiru Ainu Minzoku: ‘Taiwa’ no Chihei kara” (The Ainu who live in the metropolitan area: from the horizon of ‘dialogues’). Urayasu: Sohukan. (Japanese)
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Watson, Mark K. 2014b. Japan’s Ainu Minority in Tokyo: Diasporic Indigeneity and Urban Politics. New York: Routledge.
Watson, Mark K., ann-elise lewallen, and Mark J. Hudson. 2014. “Beyond Ainu Studies: An Introduction.” In Beyond Ainu Studies: Changing Academic and Public Perspectives, edited by Hudson, Mark J., ann-elise lewallen, and Mark K. Watson, 1-22. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
Yamada, Takako. 2003. “Anthropological Studies of the Ainu in Japan: Past and Present.” Japanese Review of Cultural Anthropology 4: 75–106. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14890/jrca.4.0_75
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Kato, Hirofumi. 2009. “Whose archaeology?: Decolonizing Archaeological Perspective in Hokkaido Island.” Journal of the Graduate School of Letters, 4, 47-55.
Kato, Hirofumi. 2017. “The Ainu and Japanese Archaeology: A Change of Perspective.” Japanese Journal of Archaeology 4: 185-190.
Bresner, Katie. 2009. “The Ainu as ‘Other’: Representations of the Ainu and Japanese Identity Before 1905.” PlatForum: Journal of Graduate Students in Anthropology, University of Victoria 10: 31-44. Accessed May 18, 2021. https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/platforum/article/view/1106
Cheung, Sidney C.H. 1996. “Change of Ainu images in Japan: A reflexive study of pre‐war and post‐war photo‐images of Ainu.” Visual Anthropology, 9(1): 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/08949468.1996.9966688
Cheung, Sidney C. H. 1997. “Photographing the Ainu and the Emperor: Modernity in Meiji Japan.” The CUHK Journal of Humanities 1: 252-268. Accessed May 18, 2021. https://digitalrepository.lib.hku.hk/catalog/gx41sf88p#?c=&m=&s=&cv=&xywh=-1128%2C892%2C4054%2C1804
Cheung, Sidney C. H. 2000. “Men, Women and ‘Japanese’ as Outsiders: a Case Study of Postcards with Ainu Images.” Visual Anthropology 13: 227-255. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08949468.2000.9966801
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