Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Distribution Area of the Ainu People

This is a map with the modern geographical distribution of the Ainu people (in the Ainu language, "ainu" means "human"). Historically, Ainu may have lived in the whole northern area of the Honshu island during the Middle Ages and even more to the South in Antiquity. A more detailed map bellow (dating from 1999) shows the detailed "official" distribution of the Ainu on the Hokkaido island.

Because of the sometimes negative connotation of the Ainu term among the Japanese people, many individuals of Ainu ancestry actually preferred not to declare themselves Ainu, so the real percentage of Ainu ancestry must be higher than shown. In 1945, after the Russian occupation of Sakhalin and Kuriles Islands, the Ainu population from these areas fled to japan, so that after 1945 no more Ainu were officially registered in Russia. Please click on the maps to see them in full detail.

1 comment:

McAlpine said...

Nice read. I've been to an Ainu reservation in Hokkaido.