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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:18 pm Reply with quote
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It wasn't until 1997 that the law forcing the Ainu to assimilate was repealed, and not until 2008 that Japan officially recognized the Ainu people.

It's regrettable that this is a modern country we're talking about. Not the first time Japan have tried to keep on blindfolds about misdeeds in its history, and still very much try about certain events in the not so distant past...

In a culture where conformity and keeping the face is be all end all, well... in the end that will only make a clown of yourself.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:43 pm Reply with quote
The two-part episode of Samurai Champloo that centered around an Ainu man was really well done. If I remember correctly, the one insert song during it was by a native Ainu singer.
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Lemonchest
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:56 pm Reply with quote
They come up now & then in Japanese entertainment. Problem is that Japan often treats Hokkaido (particularly the period Golden Kamuy is set in) as their snowy equivalent of the American West & as such Ainu, if they're there at all, are often little more than Japanese pastiches of American caricatures of Native Americans (& like in Hollywood films, said Ainu are usually just mainland Japanese actors in makeup). Haven't seen Kamuy yet, but just from promo images & descriptions it's clearly carrying some of that baggage, whether or not it plans to do anything more meaningful with it.
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Suldrun45



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:29 pm Reply with quote
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Ainu were a hunter-gatherer society that emerged about a millennia ago, possibly as a coming together of several other native ethnic groups. In fact, they are believed to be the last living ancestors of the Jomon people, who populated Japan as early as 11,000 B.C.


So, if I understand correctly, they emerged around 1000 AD and were the ancestors of the Jomon who lived there 12000 years before? Didn't you mean the "descendants"? :p
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johnnysasaki



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:03 pm Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
The two-part episode of Samurai Champloo that centered around an Ainu man was really well done. If I remember correctly, the one insert song during it was by a native Ainu singer.


if I recall,he was never explicitly mentioned as Ainu,though,probably to avoid controversy...
Do Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown and Horo Horo from Shaman King count?
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Compelled to Reply



Joined: 14 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:10 pm Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:
It's regrettable that this is a modern country we're talking about. Not the first time Japan have tried to keep on blindfolds about misdeeds in its history, and still very much try about certain events in the not so distant past...

In a culture where conformity and keeping the face is be all end all, well... in the end that will only make a clown of yourself.

Many modern countries haven't formally recognized misdeeds in their histories, or only incrementally recognized some historical aspects proven to be factual. Assuming you're Finnish, one could easily argue your country hasn't done enough for the Sami people.
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John Thacker
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:19 pm Reply with quote
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In fact, they are believed to be the last living ancestors of the Jomon people, who populated Japan as early as 11,000 B.C.


And even this is controversial in a sense, as lots of Japanese archeologists have attempted to demonstrate that the Yamato people (Japanese) were actually the ones descended from the Jomon people, in order to emphasize the Japanese/Yamato connection to the islands in antiquity, and minimize the idea that the Yamato people are descended from the Yayoi people only, who migrated from Asia (probably the Korean peninsula.)

Genetic studies imply that certain haplogroups are in nearly all Ainu and in some 40% of Japanese people, but whether that means that the Japanese people are a mixture of Jomon and Yayoi people long ago (or whether the Yayoi were an admixture of the immigrants and Jomon to start with), or whether the haplogroup was introduced later, such as by Ainu intermarriage much later, is harder to tell.

Japanese society is officially not multicultural at all. For example, the country only maintains statistics on citizenship, not ancestry; Japanese citizens do not have any sort of ancestry officially recorded in data, even if they obviously come from Africa, Europe, or elsewhere. For certain types of ancestry that blend in better, like Ainu, ethnic Korean, Ryukyuan, or others, the effects are rather mixed.
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Blanchimont



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:30 pm Reply with quote
Compelled to Reply wrote:
Many modern countries haven't formally recognized misdeeds in their histories, or only incrementally recognized some historical aspects proven to be factual. Assuming you're Finnish, one could easily argue your country hasn't done enough for the Sami people.

True, there has been many wrongs done towards the indigenous people of this country too. But we don't shy away from admitting those deeds happened, and if someone does try their voices will drown in the vast majority. Nor do we try censor those events from our school textbooks or try to twist the actual events described into something altogether different or try to deny they even happened in the first place.

More accurate claim on that front would be about the 'civil war' which occurred in 1918 between Whites and Reds. Even today there's many who deny atrocities committed by one side or the other, unfortunately. The wounds run deep.
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Compelled to Reply



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:50 pm Reply with quote
John Thacker wrote:
And even this is controversial in a sense, as lots of Japanese archeologists have attempted to demonstrate that the Yamato people (Japanese) were actually the ones descended from the Jomon people, in order to emphasize the Japanese/Yamato connection to the islands in antiquity, and minimize the idea that the Yamato people are descended from the Yayoi people only, who migrated from Asia (probably the Korean peninsula.)

Japanese archaeologists know the Yamato are descendants of the Yayoi people, who were ancient Koreans of the southern portion of the peninsula, and Chinese of the Yangtze River Delta. You're talking about some pseudoscience quacks, who notably got caught with their pants down in late 2000. Honestly, I don't see why when modern Koreans and Chinese are quite different anyway, following centuries of Mongol and Tatar conquest.

Blanchimont wrote:
True, there has been many wrongs done towards the indigenous people of this country too. But we don't shy away from admitting those deeds happened, and if someone does try their voices will drown in the vast majority. Nor do we try censor those events from our school textbooks or try to twist the actual events described into something altogether different or try to deny they even happened in the first place.

Most Japanese acknowledge past incidents. It's just ukyo dantai groups tend to catch the attention of the foreign media who inadvertently amplifies it, despite most Japanese ignoring or considering it annoying when somebody is yelling with a loudspeaker atop their mom's minivan at station squares. Frankly, it should still be appreciated that Japan allows freedom of speech instead those arbitrary "hate speech" bans like in many West European countries. Also, the school textbook controversy was only about a couple textbooks approved for use at obscure private schools. Independent reviews also concluded Japanese history books are the most unbiased compared to South Korean, Chinese, or American ones, but are just facts. Teachers should teach students to think critically.


Last edited by Compelled to Reply on Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:58 pm; edited 12 times in total
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Otaku-sempai



Joined: 27 Mar 2017
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Location: Lackawanna, NY
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:12 pm Reply with quote
"In fact, they are believed to be the last living ancestors of the Jomon people, who populated Japan as early as 11,000 B.C."

You mean that the Ainu may be the descendants of the Jomon people. The Jomon would be the ancestors.

I'm sure that I had heard of the Ainu before, but I first really became aware of them as a people from Kamui no Ken/The Dagger of Kamui. I believe that Hayao Miyazaki stated that Ashitaka's folk in Mononoke Hime/Princess Mononoke could have been a remnant of the Ainu.
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Compelled to Reply



Joined: 14 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:16 pm Reply with quote
Otaku-sempai wrote:
I'm sure that I had heard of the Ainu before, but I first really became aware of them as a people from Kamui no Ken/The Dagger of Kamui. I believe that Hayao Miyazaki stated that Ashitaka's folk in Mononoke Hime/Princess Mononoke could have been a remnant of the Ainu.

Those were the "Emishi," another subset of the Jomon, who were indigenous to northern Honshu, especially Tōhoku.
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Vanadise
Village ElderVillage Elder


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:42 pm Reply with quote
It doesn't look like anybody's mentioned it yet, so since I've been on a huge Utawarerumono kick lately, I'll point out that Utawarerumono draws quite a bit from Ainu culture for its clothing styles and names. It's set in a fantasy world, so it's not really representative of Ainu culture, but I think it's worth checking out if you like the aesthetic.
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H. Guderian



Joined: 29 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:52 pm Reply with quote
Ainu capacity to resist ended far before the Muromachi period. Before any of the Shogunates, really. The Ashikaga and Minamoto Shoguns took the title of Shogun, which was a title given to those who waged war in the distance north against the Ainu. The title itself had to be brought back for there even to be a thing called Shogun in the form we now think of it.

The only correction I really wanted to make. I would also like to note the Ainu attacked the fledging Japanese state as well, thinking about the fall of Togo in...771?

And while one might hope that 'maybe another state could have existed!' Japan suffered from centuries of art-making peace thereafter, a situation many people would have killed to have. And while the Ainu certainly didn't fare well, someone here mentioned the Mongols, who exacted a kind of industrial killing in the 13th Century world that is hard to describe as it is the manual killing by hand of millions.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:30 pm Reply with quote
I'd heard that the unemployed second-class aliens in the hipster 90's comedy Niea_7 were social-allegorically supposed to represent some unrecognized "alien" racial minority trying to get by and/or assimilate in modern Tokyo despite marginalization and prejudice (along with East Indians and other actual foreigners), but it's been so long, can't remember which--

Was that the Ainu, Emishi, or other unrecognized minority branch we haven't heard of in other anime?
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Mojave



Joined: 07 May 2017
Posts: 178
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:45 pm Reply with quote
Another part of Ainu religious beliefs that is actually quite important in Golden Kamuy is the divine nature of bears. The word "kamuy" is an Ainu term that roughly translates as "god," but is also used to refer to bears in general. The Ainu believed that when the gods took on physical form in our world, they did so in the form of animals, most notably the bear. There were ceremonies that involved the sacrificing of bears, in which the Ainu believed that they were returning the spirit of the kamuy to the land of the gods in a civil manner, for which the kamuy were grateful/respectful.
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