A report on Hokkaido and Ainu people

Ainu at a traditional marriage ceremony in Hokkaido.
Ainu at a traditional marriage ceremony in Hokkaido.
Former Hokkaidō Government Office in Chūō-ku, Sapporo
Hokkaido Ainu clan leader.
Palace reception near Hakodate in 1751. Ainu bringing gifts (cf. omusha)
Ainu leader
The samurai and the Ainu, c. 1775
Historical homeland and distribution of the Ainu people.
Matsumae Takahiro, a Matsumae lord of the late Edo period (December 10, 1829 – June 9, 1866)
1843 illustration of Ainu
Goryōkaku
Photograph of Tatsujiro Kuzuno, a famous Ainu individual.
The Ainu, Hokkaidō's indigenous people
Sakhalin Ainu in 1904
Map of Hokkaido showing the subprefectures and the primary cities
A picture of Imekanu, right, with her niece Yukie Chiri, famous Ainu Japanese transcriber and translator of Ainu epic tales. (1922)
Map of Hokkaido as seen by municipalities
Three Ainu from Hokkaidō in traditional dress
Satellite image of Hokkaidō in winter
Ainu man performing a traditional dance
Hokkaido in winter and summer
An Ainu from Shiraoi, Hokkaido, c. 1930
Sapporo, Hokkaidō's largest city.
"Ainu men" Department of Anthropology, Japanese exposition, 1904 World's Fair.
Large farm of Tokachi plain
Map of pre-1945 distribution of Ainu languages and dialects
Farm Tomita in Nakafurano
Woman playing a tonkori
Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station on the Hokkaido Shinkansen
Ainu ceremonial dress, British Museum
Hollow Dogū, the only National Treasure on the island (Hakodate Jōmon Culture Center)
Ainu woman with mouth tattoos and live bear.
Sapporo Dome in Sapporo.
Bear hunting, 19th century
Geofeatures map of Hokkaido
Ainu people, c. 1840
Hokkaido seen from the International Space Station
An Ainu woman from Hokkaido, c. 1930
Satellite image of Hokkaido
Ainu house in Hokkaido
The Oyashio Current colliding with the Kuroshio Current off the coast of Hokkaido. When two currents collide, they create eddies. Phytoplankton growing in the surface waters become concentrated along the boundaries of these eddies, tracing out the motions of the water.
Ainu traditional house. Ainu: "cise".
Overview of Kushiro Wetland
A traditional Ainu marriage ceremony
Lake Akan and Mount Meakan
Chishima Ainu working
View of Lake Mashū
Painting of the Ainu iyomante, bear spirit sending ceremony in Hokkaido (1875)
Lake Shikotsu
Ainu traditional ceremony, c. 1930
Sōunkyō, a gorge in the Daisetsu-zan Volcanic Area
National Ainu Museum interior
Sapporo City
Ainu cultural promotion centre and museum, in Sapporo (Sapporo Pirka Kotan)
Asahikawa
The Oki Dub Ainu Band, led by the Ainu Japanese musician Oki, in Germany in 2007
Hakodate
Ainu people in front of a traditional building in Shiraoi, Hokkaido.
Kushiro
Karafuto (Sakhalin) Ainu family behind their house in 1912.
Obihiro
Historical extent of the Ainu
Kitami
Ainu houses (from Popular Science Monthly Volume 33, 1888).
Iwamizawa
Plan of an Ainu house.
Abashiri
The family would gather around the fireplace.
Wakkanai
Interior of the house of Ainu - Saru River basin.
Nemuro
Rumoi

The Ainu are the indigenous people of the lands surrounding the Sea of Okhotsk, including Hokkaido Island, Northeast Honshu Island, Sakhalin Island, the Kuril Islands, the Kamchatka Peninsula and Khabarovsk Krai, before the arrival of the Yamato Japanese and Russians.

- Ainu people

Although there were Japanese settlers who ruled the southern tip of the island since the 16th century, Hokkaido was considered foreign territory that was inhabited by the indigenous people of the island, known as the Ainu people.

- Hokkaido

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Overall

Sakhalin

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Largest island of Russia.

Largest island of Russia.

Historical extent of the Ainu people
De Vries (1643) mapped Sakhalin's eastern promontories without realising that he had visited an island (map from 1682).
French map from 1821 showing Sakhalin as part of Qing Empire
Mamiya Rinzō described Sakhalin as an island in his map
Display of Sakhalin on maps varied throughout the 18th century. This map from a 1773 atlas, based on the earlier work by d'Anville, who in his turn made use of the information collected by Jesuits in 1709, asserts the existence of Sakhalin – but only assigns to it the northern half of the island and its northeastern coast (with Cape Patience, discovered by de Vries in 1643). Cape Aniva, also discovered by de Vries, and Cape Crillon (Black Cape) are, however, thought to form part of the mainland
La Perouse charted most of the southwestern coast of Sakhalin (or "Tchoka", as he heard natives call it) in 1787
1823 Japanese map of Karafuto and part of eastern Siberia (modern Khabarovsk Krai)
Anton Chekhov museum in Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky, Russia. It is the house where he stayed in Sakhalin during 1890.
Settler's way of life. Near church at holiday. 1903
Sakhalin Island with Karafuto Prefecture highlighted
Central part of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 2009
Sakhalin and its surroundings.
Velikan Cape, Sakhalin
Zhdanko Mountain Ridge
Nivkh children in Sakhalin c. 1903
Western Gray whale near Sakhalin
Anaphalis margaritacea with peacock butterfly
A Japanese D51 steam locomotive outside the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Railway Station
A passenger train in Nogliki
At the ceremony marking the opening of a liquefied natural gas production plant built as part of the Sakhalin-2 project

It is located just off Khabarovsk Krai, and is north of Hokkaido in Japan.

Smaller minorities were the Ainu, Ukrainians, Tatars, Yakuts and Evenks.

Composite map of the islands between Kamchatka Peninsula and Nemuro Peninsula, combining twelve US Army Map Service maps compiled in the early 1950s

Kuril Islands

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The Kuril Islands or Kurile Islands (Japanese: "Kuril Islands" (クリル列島) or "Thousand Islands" (千島列島)) are a volcanic archipelago part of Sakhalin Oblast in the Russian Far East.

The Kuril Islands or Kurile Islands (Japanese: "Kuril Islands" (クリル列島) or "Thousand Islands" (千島列島)) are a volcanic archipelago part of Sakhalin Oblast in the Russian Far East.

Composite map of the islands between Kamchatka Peninsula and Nemuro Peninsula, combining twelve US Army Map Service maps compiled in the early 1950s
Caldera of the island Ushishir
Stratovolcano Mt. Ruruy; view from Yuzhno-Kurilsk
Kuril Ainu people next to their traditional dwelling.
A map of Kuril Islands from Gisuke Sasamori's 1893 book Chishima Tanken
Historical extent of the Ainu
Shana Village in Etorofu (Shōwa period): a village hospital in the foreground, a factory in the left background with a fishery and a central radio tower (before 1945).
Main village in Shikotan
Russian Orthodox church, Kunashir
Yuzhno-Kurilsk, Kunashir
Severo-Kurilsk, Paramushir
Atlasov
A view of the volcano Bogdan Khmelnitsky on Iturup Island
Mendeleyeva in the southern part of Kunashir
Yuzhno-Kurilsky District
Ebeko volcano, Paramushir
White Rocks, Iturup

It stretches approximately 1300 km northeast from Hokkaido in Japan to Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the north Pacific Ocean.

The name Kuril originates from the autonym of the aboriginal Ainu, the islands' original inhabitants: kur, meaning 'man'.

The Kuril Islands with Russian names. Borders of Shimoda Treaty (1855) and Treaty of St. Petersburg (1875) shown in red. Since 1945 all islands northeast of Hokkaido have been administered by Russia.

Kuril Islands dispute

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Territorial dispute between Japan and the Russian Federation over the ownership of the four southernmost Kuril Islands.

Territorial dispute between Japan and the Russian Federation over the ownership of the four southernmost Kuril Islands.

The Kuril Islands with Russian names. Borders of Shimoda Treaty (1855) and Treaty of St. Petersburg (1875) shown in red. Since 1945 all islands northeast of Hokkaido have been administered by Russia.
Disputed islands in question: Habomai Islands, Shikotan, Kunashiri (Kunashir) and Etorofu (Iturup)
Southern Kuril islands seen from the International Space Station
A 1939 map of the Pacific Rim. Dates shown indicate approximate time that the various powers gained control of their possessions
Japanese Iturup residents (then called Etorofu) and a Buddhist temple (before 1939)
Agreement regarding entry of the Soviet Union into the war against Japan
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met local residents in Yuzhno-Kurilsk, 1 November 2010
Japanese people visiting their family graves on Tanfiliev Island (Suishō-jima), one of the Habomai Islands, 2008
A protest truck confronting the Japanese police near the Russian Embassy on August 9, 2015
A van covered with slogans calling for Japanese sovereignty over the Northern Territories (北方領土), 2006
The Ainu people were the original inhabitants of the Kuril Islands

The Kuril Islands are a chain of islands that stretch between the Japanese island of Hokkaido at their southern end and the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula at their northern end.

Some individuals of the Ainu also claim the Kuril Islands, on the basis that their ethnic group inhabited the archipelago and Sakhalin prior to the arrival of Japanese and Russian settlers in the 19th century.

Sea of Okhotsk full map

Sea of Okhotsk

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Marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean.

Marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean.

Sea of Okhotsk full map
Sea of Okhotsk seasons winter and summer
Most of the Sea of Okhotsk, with the exception of the Sakhalin Island, had been well mapped by 1792
Nagayevo Bay near Magadan, Russia
Shiretoko National Park on the Sea of Okhotsk coast of Hokkaido, Japan

It is located between Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula on the east, the Kuril Islands on the southeast, Japan's island of Hokkaido on the south, the island of Sakhalin along the west, and a stretch of eastern Siberian coast along the west and north.

The Okhotsk people and the later Ainu culture, a coastal fishing and hunter-gatherer people, were located around the lands surrounding the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as in northern Japan.

Sakhalin Oblast

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Federal subject of Russia comprising the island of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands in the Russian Far East.

Federal subject of Russia comprising the island of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands in the Russian Far East.

Aleksandrovskaya Prison in Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky in 1903
Anton Chekhov museum in Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky. It is the house where he stayed in Sakhalin during 1890
Shakhtyorsk narrow gauge railway, Central Processing Plant in Shakhtyorsk
This Japanese D51 steam locomotive stands outside present day Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Railway Station Sakhalin Island, Russia

It borders Khabarovsk Krai to the west and Kamchatka Krai to the north, along with Hokkaido, Japan to the south.

Japanese or Ainu: 0.05%

Map of the "Land of Iesso" by French cartographer Alain Manesson Mallet (1683)

Ezo

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Japanese term historically used to refer to the lands to the north of the Japanese island of Honshu.

Japanese term historically used to refer to the lands to the north of the Japanese island of Honshu.

Map of the "Land of Iesso" by French cartographer Alain Manesson Mallet (1683)

It included the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, which changed its name from "Ezo" to "Hokkaidō" in 1869, and sometimes included Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands.

The same two kanji used to write the word "Ezo", which literally mean "shrimp barbarians" in Chinese, can also be read in the Japanese language as "Emishi", the name given to the indigenous people of these lands, the descendants of whom are most likely related to the Ainu people.

Monument to Shakushain at the site of the surrender

Shakushain's revolt

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Monument to Shakushain at the site of the surrender
Monument to Shakushain at the site of the surrender

Shakushain's revolt (シャクシャインの戦い) was an Ainu rebellion against Japanese authority on Hokkaidō between 1669 and 1672.

Japanese people

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Ethnic group that is native to the Japanese archipelago and modern country of Japan, where they constitute 98.1% of the country’s population.

Ethnic group that is native to the Japanese archipelago and modern country of Japan, where they constitute 98.1% of the country’s population.

Shakōki-dogū (遮光器土偶) (1000–400 BC), "goggle-eyed type" figurine. Tokyo National Museum.
Genetic structure of present-day and ancient Eurasian and Ikawazu Jomon.
Location of Imperial Japan
A Shinto festival in Miki, Hyogo
Hindu God Ganesha in a Buddhist Shrine in Japan
Bisque doll of Momotarō,
a character from Japanese literature and folklore
The print Red Fuji from Katsushika Hokusai's series, Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
The Japantown Peace Plaza during the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Depending on the context, the term ethnic Japanese (日本民族) may be limited or not to mainland Japanese people, specifically the Yamato (as opposed to Ryukyuan and Ainu people).

As a result, replacement of the hunter gatherers was common in the island regions of Kyūshū, Shikoku, and southern Honshū, but did not prevail in the outlying islands of Okinawa and Hokkaidō, and the Ryukyuan and Ainu people show mixed characteristics.

Menashi–Kunashir rebellion

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The Menashi-Kunashir rebellion or war (クナシリ・メナシの戦い) or Menashi-Kunashir battle, was a battle in 1789 between Ainu and Wajin on the Shiretoko Peninsula in Northeastern Hokkaido.

Koshamain's War

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Koshamain's War (コシャマインの戦い) was an armed struggle between the Ainu and Wajin that took place on the Oshima Peninsula of southern Hokkaidō, Japan, in 1457.