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Cool Japan / Ainu, First People of Japan, The Original & First Japanese

File:AinuGroup.JPG
(Group of Ainu people, 1902 photograph.)

The Ainu (アイヌ), also called Aynu, Aino (アイノ), and in historical texts Ezo (蝦夷), are indigenous people or groups in Japan and Russia. Historically, they spoke the Ainu language and related varieties and lived in Hokkaidō, the Kuril Islands, and much of Sakhalin.
Ainu, First People of Japan, The Original & First Japanese

Most of those who identify themselves as Ainu still live in this same region, though the exact number of living Ainu is unknown. This is due to confusion over mixed heritages and to ethnic issues in Japan resulting in those with Ainu backgrounds hiding their identities. In Japan, because of intermarriage over many years with Japanese, the concept of a pure Ainu ethnic group is no longer feasible. Official estimates of the population are of around 25,000, while the unofficial number is upward of 200,000 people.
File:Oki Ainu Dub Band at tff.Rudolstadt 2007.jpg
(Ainu Cuture at present)

By TS on Mar 1, 2012
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