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Post Japan Recognizes its Ainu Minority
Created by John Eipper on 03/25/19 3:57 AM

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Japan Recognizes its Ainu Minority (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 03/25/19 3:57 am)

There has been a great development for the the defenders of persecuted and discriminated minorities.

After centuries of genocide, oppression, discrimination and forced assimilation, the Japanese government has finally recognized the Ainu minority.

Of course it is too late.

The Ainu arrived in Japan during the Glacial Era, probably between 15,000 to 20,000 years ago.  They were widespread from the Kuril islands, Kamchatka, Sakhalin, to Ryukyu and Okinawa.  (By the way the protests against the occupation by the Empire's troops are continuing at Naha.)

At present only about 25,000 Ainu remain, all on the island of Hokkaido.

The non-written Ainu Language is considered to be almost extinct.  This is a huge loss for humanity.

Anthropologists and linguists have tried to connect them to other ethnic groups but have no clear answers. Some even looked at the Basques, but from a linguistic point of view there are resemblances with the languages of Northern Native Americans.

JE comments:  Most educated people have heard of the Ainu, but we know very little about them.  The WAIS archives have a half-dozen articles that mention the Ainu.  This 2005 post from Prof. Hilton and Tom Hashimoto (hello, Tom!) refers to a 1997 law that was supposed to protect their culture.  Has no progress been made in 22 years?


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