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This book is a beautiful and moving personal account of the Ainu, the native inhabitants of Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, whose land, economy, and culture have been absorbed and destroyed in recent centuries by advancing Japanese. Based on the author's own experiences and on stories passed down from generation to generation, the book chronicles the disappearing world--and courageous rebirth--of this little-understood people.Kayano describes with disarming simplicity and frankness the personal conflicts he faced as a result of the tensions between a traditional and a modern society and his lifelong efforts to fortify a living Ainu culture. A master storyteller, he paints a vivid picture of the Ainus' ecologically sensitive lifestyle, which revolved around bear hunting, fishing, farming, and woodcutting.Unlike the few existing ethnographies of the Ainu, this account is the first written by an insider intimately tied to his own culture yet familiar with the ways of outsiders. Speaking with a rare directness to the Ainu and universal human experience, this book will interest all readers concerned with the fate of indigenous peoples.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780813318806
ISBN-10: 0813318807
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 140mm x 13mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Westview Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 11-Mar-1994
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Kayano Shigeru

Kayano Shigeru is the founder and director of the Kayano Shigeru Ainu Memorial Museum. He is a Diet member, the first Ainu to be elected. Kyoko Selden teaches Japanese at Cornell University. Lili Selden is a graduate student in Japanese literature at the University of Michigan. Kayano Shigeru is the founder and director of the Kayano Shigeru Ainu Memorial Museum. He is a Diet member, the first Ainu to be elected. Kyoko Selden teaches Japanese at Cornell University. Lili Selden is a graduate student in Japanese literature at the University of Michigan. Kayano Shigeru is the founder and director of the Kayano Shigeru Ainu Memorial Museum. He is a Diet member, the first Ainu to be elected. Kyoko Selden teaches Japanese at Cornell University. Lili Selden is a graduate student in Japanese literature at the University of Michigan.