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(P23) Contributing to recent Ainu issues: possibilities through anthropological and archaeological studies

Convenors: Hideyuki Ōnishi, Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts; Shiro Sasaki, Preparatory Office for National Ainu Museum

Discussants: Hirofumi Kato, Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies, Hokkaido University; Mayumi Okada, Creative Research Institution, Hokkaido University; Tomo Ishimura, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo

Abstract: This session focuses on sociopolitical problems confronted by recent Ainu people and communities, and discusses possibilities of anthropological and archaeological studies to contribute to resolving these issues. In addition, it attempts to make comparisons with hunter-gatherers as sociopolitical minorities in other parts of the world.

Keywords: Ainu, public anthropology and archaeology, indigenous rights, cultural heritage, cultural promotion

Format: standard panel

Precirculated papers: none required

 

Ainu studies based on anthropology and archaeology has produced various outcomes to no small extent. Nonetheless, it cannot be said that such studies have sufficiently supported and/or contributed to the resolution of sociopolitical issues regarding the Ainu up to today.

This session focuses on specific problems confronted by recent Ainu people and communities, and discusses the potential of Ainu studies based on anthropology and archaeology for contribution to resolving these issues. Incidentally, the topics covered in this session are all notable issues concerned with sociopolitical rights or cultural revitalization and promotion of the Ainu, including cultural representation in museums, safeguarding cultural heritages, repatriation of human remains, rehabilitation of cultural landscapes and so on. Needless to say, such issues have a close and complicated relationship with both anthropological and archaeological factors; therefore, collaborations and finding common ground among studies is necessary as much as possible.

Concerning these objectives, this session examines how anthropological and archaeological investigations on Ainu culture and history can contribute to resolve sociopolitical issues of the Ainu, and what kinds of responsibilities academic researchers must bear in mind. In addition, it attempts to make comparisons with case studies of hunter-gatherers as sociopolitical minorities in other parts of the world. Moreover, such an attempt will reexamine the findings of existing studies on Ainu and other foragers.

These examinations and findings will furnish new perspectives, not only specifically to Ainu issues, but also to contemporary hunter-gatherer studies, since results of these studies can be shared with researchers of related studies of indigenous peoples in various fields throughout the world. Therefore, in this session we would like to openly invite any experts of other related fields.

 

 

 

 

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