Ainu – the main mystery of the Kuril Islands

Ainu - the main mystery of the Kuril IslandsA photo from open sources Ancient Ainu – a mysterious people who considered the indigenous people of the Japanese islands. Recently Sakhalin archaeologists have discovered two monuments testifying to the presence of Ainu and in Russia, or rather, on the Kuril Islands. It’s about burial at Shikotane, as well as the traces of an ancient settlement on Tanfiliev Island, in the territory of the Lesser Kuril ridge. Now Ainu can be found mainly in Japan, and according to the census there are only 25 000 people, although, according to independent sources, the number of this the people is about 200,000. Its representatives possess completely unusual features of the Japanese appearance – or australoid, or Caucasoid. A thick beard atypical for the Mongoloids … Some researchers believe that they sailed to Japan from the southern regions, especially since the Ainu in summer try to walk in only one loincloth. Their language is not like to no other, and even more so to Japanese … Modern Ainu almost completely assimilated into Japanese culture. Most a common occupation with them is participation in popular tourists show called “Ainu and the Bear.” True, according to custom Ainu cannot depict a bear – a strict taboo … But once wild and dexterous, bear-drinking Ainu have long come to terms with the fact that other times have come … There is an assumption that once Ainu lived on the territory of Russia – in the lower reaches of the Amur, in the south Kamchatka Peninsula, on Sakhalin and in the Kuril Islands. Indeed, representatives of this exotic people found in Russia, however, they turned out to be only about 109 people, of whom 94 are from the Kamchatka Territory … They are convinced that islands such as Igrul, Kunashir, Shikotan, Haomai, once were inhabited by their ancestors. And more recently this was found evidence. During the expedition to Shikotan were discovered burial places of several tens of Ainu. It is assumed that they are still in XIX century Japanese were deported here from the Northern Kuril Islands as a result of cross-border division of land with Russia. In a new place torn out of Ainu’s natural habitat awaited a tragic fate. Born hunters and fishers were deprived of gear, taken away from them catch and prey, so in winter the Ainu often starved and gradually became extinct. True, about life under the rule of the Russian crown, they retained good memories, as the Russians did not intervene in community affairs and were much more merciful than the Japanese … Ainu professed Orthodoxy and willingly communicated with the Russians Travelers arriving in the Kuril Islands. Last in their memories often paid tribute to the merits of this of the people. So, the famous navigator Kruzenshtern described Ainu as follows: “Such truly rare qualities, by which they owe not to a lofty education, but to nature alone, aroused in me the feeling that I consider this people the best of all the others that I still know. “He repeated to him and A.P. Chekhov: “Ainu are a meek, humble, good-natured people, trusting, sociable, polite, respecting property; on the hunting bold and … even intelligent. “On the island of Tanfiliev, the smallest of the Kuril Islands, covering an area of ​​only 15 square kilometers, was found numerous remains of ceramic vessels and other artifacts. The age of the Ainu culture “Dzemon” (about belonging to it evidence of spiral patterns on ceramics) is very ancient, about eight thousand years. However, the Ainu retained their primitive culture for millennia. Therefore, a tremendous work ahead find out how long people lived in this territory … Ministry Culture plans to include both objects in the state register monuments. Nowadays, Ainu are asked to reconsider the issue with Kuril Islands, because once Japan appropriated the lands where they lived primitive gatherers and hunters. Miraculously surviving families I had to hide my true origin … So do they have the right of Japan and Russia to divide these lands among themselves? Back in the 19th century local old people said: “Sakhalin is the land of the Ainu, Japanese land on Sakhalin isn’t. ”It’s a miracle that after the genocide and the smallpox epidemic this people survived, albeit mixed with different nations. In our country with Kamchadals. Now, not only oral traditions, but also material ones evidence confirms the reality of the “Russian” past unique people. Elena Gimadieva

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