The Ainu of Japan (1892)
Table of Contents.
Japanese history mentions the Ainu.
The first photograph which seems to be a little odd-looking to me.
Although the Ainu are described as a 'hairy' race, the author says that not all of them are that way.
He says that they are filthy.
He stayed with the Ainu for a long time and had some Ainu servants.
'Another hairy one.'
Some more not really nice things about the Ainu according to the author.
Yet another photograph of Ainu hair.
He presents a reason for the Ainu to smell so bad.
They do make some neat-looking clothing in my opinion.
The men don't appear to be very smart, and the women are kept under their thumbs.
One gets the impression the men are a bunch of drunken louts. He then goes on to note their lack of a regular spiritual system and how Christianity is making inroads and changing their behavior.
He describes Ainu women and they don't come across any better than do the men.
Ainu woman and child.
The lot of the Ainu women is not a happy one.
An Ainu woman's dress. The third chapter talks about Ainu clothing.
A man's coat.
The fourth chapter talks about Ainu buildings. It's pointed out that they don't clean their eating utensils. The fifth chapter goes into a discussion of the furniture.
The layout of an Ainu hut.
The Ainu are not without their own spiritual system. The objects are considered offerings to the gods. These are done in a variety of styles.
There's an entire chapter on Ainu rules of etiquette.
Ainu education. The chapter also has several examples of Ainu folk tales and how they were to communicate certain patterns of behavior to the young.
Chapter 9 is about the arts and pleasures of life.
Women's dances. After that there's a chapter on the Ainu system of justice and checking to see if a person was innocent or guilty. The methods used are absurd, actually, and remind me of the various tests to see if a person was a witch or not.
The next couple of chapters deal with hunting; what they hunted, and the instruments they hunted with.
A legend relating to the origin of the Ainu in Japan. I wonder who the 'dwarf' people were?
The Ainu punishment for breaking and entering.
The Ainu punishment for murder.
How a woman curses.
More things women do.
The origin of illness.
The Ainu view of death.
Ainu spirits can cause problems.
The spirit of a dead woman is to be feared.
The Ainu concept of heaven.
The Ainu concept of Hades, which is sort of like limbo or a holding area.
The Ainu concept of hell.
The Ainu concept of gods.
If an Ainu were to state his or her beliefs, this is what they would be. In a later chapter the author says the Ainu numbers were decreased by disease and by extermination by the ancient Japanese, although there was also some inter-group Ainu warfare of their own.
I find this particularly interesting. There are various legends in the Far East of a time when people flew through the air and actually carried out aerial warfare. This could have been pure imagination; it could have been some kind of drug-induced hallucination, or it could refer to a time when some ancient civilization or civilizations did have some kind of airplanes, although no solid evidence has been uncovered that would prove such a thing.
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