Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who are the Ainu?

The Ainu are indigenous peoples of Japan residing in the northern island of Hokkaido  (Shibatani, 1990).

The Ainu and Japanese are physically and culturally distinct from each other (Shibatani, 1990).

It is said that the Ainu language was traditionally an oral one, thus no written history or records were ever produced.  Linguists and linguistic anthropologists alike are now starting to move into the Ainu communities in attempts to revitalize their dying language and to help gain public awareness of these unique indigenous peoples.


Shibatani, Masayoshi
1990    The Languages of Japan. New York, USA: Cambridge University Press for New York.

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