Human Rhythm and Divine Rhythm in Ainu Epics

Diogenes 46 (181):31-42 (1998)
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The Ainu are still in existence, but their reduced numbers, now around 20,000, indicate how marginal their presence is even in Hokkaido, their ancestral territory. Moreover, they have undergone much metissage, in both ethnic and cultural terms. Legally, the Ainu do not yet constitute an indigenous ethnic minority; they have only recently obtained some gestures of recognition from the government, such as the interruption of a dam project on a ritual site. In 1994, for the first time in history, an Ainu, Kay ano Shigeru, was elected to the senate. The legislation concerning the Ainu lands, dating from 1899, has finally been revised. And with a boost from the International Year of Ethnic Minorities, in 1992, Ainu organizations managed to inflect the official Japanese doctrine that Japanese soil is home to only one community, that of the Japanese.



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Songs of Gods, Songs of Humans: The Epic Tradition of the Ainu.Wolfram Eberhard & Donald L. Philippi - 1982 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 102 (3):580.

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