52 Facts About Ainu people


Early Ainu people-speaking groups migrated into the Kamchatka Peninsula and into Honshu, where their descendants are today known as the Matagi hunters, who still use a large amount of Ainu people vocabulary in their dialect.

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Research suggests that Ainu people culture originated from a merger of the Okhotsk and Satsumon cultures.

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The Ainu people started an expedition into the Amur region, which was then controlled by the Yuan Dynasty, resulting in reprisals by the Mongols who invaded Sakhalin.

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The Ainu people formed a society of hunter-gatherers, surviving mainly by hunting and fishing.

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Disputes between the Japanese and Ainu people developed into large-scale violence, Koshamain's Revolt, in 1456.

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In 1899, the Japanese government passed an act labelling the Ainu as "former aborigines", with the idea they would assimilate—this resulted in the Japanese government taking the land where the Ainu people lived and placing it from then on under Japanese control.

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Also at this time, the Ainu people were granted automatic Japanese citizenship, effectively denying them the status of an indigenous group.

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Ainu went from being a relatively isolated group of people to having their land, language, religion and customs assimilated into those of the Japanese.

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The majority of Ainu people were forced to be petty laborers during the Meiji Restoration, which saw the introduction of Hokkaido into the Japanese Empire and the privatization of traditional Ainu people lands.

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Intermarriage between Japanese and Ainu people was actively promoted by the Ainu people to lessen the chances of discrimination against their offspring.

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Existence of the Ainu people has challenged the notion of ethnic homogeneity in post-WWII Japan.

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The government acknowledges the Ainu people to be an ethnic minority as it has maintained a unique cultural identity and having a unique language and religion.

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Recent research suggests that the historical Ainu people culture originated from a merger of the Okhotsk culture with the Satsumon culture, cultures thought to have derived from the diverse Jomon-period cultures of the Japanese archipelago.

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Ainu people economy was based on farming, as well as on hunting, fishing and gathering.

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Linguist and historian Joran Smale similarly found that the Ainu language likely originated from the ancient Okhotsk people, which had strong cultural influence on the "Epi-Jomon" of southern Hokkaido and northern Honshu, but that the Ainu people themselves formed from the combination of both ancient groups.

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Recently in 2021, it was confirmed that the Hokkaido Jomon Ainu people formed from "Jomon tribes of Honshu" and from "Terminal Upper-Paleolithic Ainu people" indigenous to Hokkaido and Paleolithic Northern Eurasia.

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The Ainu in turn formed from the Hokkaido Jomon and from the Okhotsk people.

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Ainu people suggests that there were multiple waves into Eastern Eurasia.

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Study by Kanazawa-Kiriyama in 2013 about mitochondrial haplogroups, found that the Ainu people have a high frequency of N9b, which is found among Udege people of eastern Siberia, and more common among Europeans than Eastern Asians, but absent from the geographically close Kanto Jomon period samples, which have a higher frequency of M7a7, which is commonly found among East and Southeast Asians.

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The present study strongly recommends revision of the widely accepted dual-structure model for the population history of the Japanese, in which the Ainu are assumed to be the direct descendants of the Jomon people.

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Genetic analysis in 2016 showed that although the Ainu have some genetic relations to the Japanese people and Eastern Siberians, they are not directly related to any modern ethnic group.

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Recent autosomal evidence suggests that the Ainu derive a majority of their ancestry from the local Jomon period people of Hokkaido.

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Many Ainu people men have abundant wavy hair and often have long beards.

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Old Ainu people who have long desisted from their outdoor work are often found to be as white as western men.

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The Ainu people have broad faces, beetling eyebrows, and sometimes large sunken eyes, which are generally horizontal and of the so-called European type.

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Study by Omoto has shown that the Ainu people are more closely related to other East Asian groups than to Western Eurasian groups, on the basis of fingerprints and dental morphology.

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Ainu people men were first recruited into the Japanese military in 1898.

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Sixty-four Ainu people served in the Russo-Japanese War, eight of whom died in battle or from illness contracted during military service.

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Ainu people language has had no indigenous system of writing, and has historically been transliterated using the Japanese kana or Russian Cyrillic.

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Ainu people hunted Ussuri brown bears, Asian black bears, Ezo deer, hares, red foxes, Japanese raccoon dogs, and other animals.

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The Ainu people hunted eagles to obtain their tail feathers, which they used in trade with the Japanese.

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Ainu people hunters caught hibernating bears or bears that had just left hibernation dens.

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The Ainu people obtained glass balls secretly made by the Matsumae clan.

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Ainu people kotan were forced to move near fishing grounds so that the Japanese could secure a labor force.

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The Ainu people have regarded this window as sacred and have been told never to look in through it.

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Ainu people sent her a small engraved knife, a workbox, a spool, and other gifts.

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Ainu people's sent him embroidered clothes, coverings for the back of the hand, leggings and other handmade clothes.

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Ainu people have no priests by profession; instead the village chief performs whatever religious ceremonies are necessary.

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The Ainu people give thanks to the gods before eating and pray to the deity of fire in time of sickness.

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Ainu people wrote that they believe the world rests on the back of a large fish, which when it moves causes earthquakes.

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Ainu people assimilated into mainstream Japanese society have adopted Buddhism and Shinto, while some northern Ainu people were converted as members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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However, not many Ainu people have converted and there are only reports of several persons who have converted.

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Ainu people living in Tokyo have developed a vibrant political and cultural community.

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Since late 2011, the Ainu have cultural exchange and cultural cooperation with the Sami people of northern Europe.

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The National Ainu people Museum building has images and videos exhibiting the history and daily life of the Ainu people.

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Ethnic Ainu people living in Sakhalin Oblast and Khabarovsk Krai are not organized politically.

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Since the Ainu are not recognized in the official list of the peoples living in Russia, they are counted as people without nationality or as ethnic Russians or Kamchadal.

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Ainu people have emphasized that they were the natives of the Kuril islands and that the Japanese and Russians were both invaders.

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In 2004, the small Ainu people community living in Russia in Kamchatka Krai wrote a letter to Vladimir Putin, urging him to reconsider any move to award the Southern Kuril Islands to Japan.

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Traditional locations of the Ainu people are Hokkaido, Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, Kamchatka, and the northern Tohoku region.

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Ainu people implemented an assimilation policy for Ainu who were engaged in fishing in the Tsugaru Peninsula.

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The Ainu people who lived there were repatriated to their home country, Japan, except for those who indicated their willingness to remain.

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