Hokkaido Travel Guide 8 Hokkaido : Experience Ainu Culture | wifi rental japan

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[source : https://theculturetrip.com/asia/japan/articles]

In previous article, which was introducing Rishiri Island, I shortly mentioned about Ainu people in Japan. Today, I am going to explain some historical sites where you can experience and feel Ainu people, culture, and their life. The Ainu are indigenous people in Japan, especially in Hokkaido Prefecture, and their culture settled down in Japan a lot in advance than mainstream Japan. The number of officially registered Ainu people in Japan are about 25,000; however, it is estimated that more than 200,000 Ainu people are living in Japan.

As I described in previous article, Japanese government, long time ago, thought Ainu culture is not developed and uncivilized. Ainu people have been discriminated by society until now, knowingly or unknowingly, and this made them becoming isolated from living harmoniously with mainstream Japan. This different eyes toward Ainu people made them hide their name, language, and culture. Some Ainu people moved to big city tried hard to live like a mainstream Japanese; however, they needed to come back to their hometown if any other people knew they are actually Ainu.
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Hokkaido Travel Guide 6 Rishiri Island | wifi rental japan

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Rishiri Island, which is part of Hokkaido Prefecture, means “tall island” in Ainu language. Ainu people, which can be also called an Anyu, are indigenous people of Japan, especially Hokkaido Prefecture and Sakhalin area in Russia. Historically Ainu people are not Yamato clan but from a clan in northern Mongolia. Ainu people had their own language, which is Ainu language, and had a feature of phratry. It is said that Ainu people their own traditional system to make human name; however, nowadays most of them use Japanese or Russian names.

Meiji government and society thought traditions and cultures of Ainu were not modern so they banned them to keep their traditions. In addition to this, Ainu people used to live in the wide regions of Japan but government forced them to move to Hokkaido area. Their own cultures were destroyed and Ainu people had been discriminated for a long time. Nowadays, some Ainu people live in an Ainu village and keep their lives by selling crafts.
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