The Ainu Are Japan’s Indigenous People

Today, the official population of Ainu in Japan is a paltry 25,000, but there’s good reason to suspect that number is quite a bit higher. That’s because centuries of discrimination and forceful assimilation have led to many Japanese people with Ainu ancestry hiding that fact — or simply being unaware of it. In fact, it was only 2008 that the Japanese government officially recognized the existence of the Ainu as an indigenous people, although their distinct language, culture, and religious practices have survived for millennia.

Comments are closed.