Ainu fight for return of plundered ancestral remains

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tags: Japan, Japan Times, Ainu people, Hokkaido

Shigeru Kayano, one of the most well-known and respected Ainu figures of modern times, writes in his autobiography “Our Land Was a Forest” about the loathing he felt as a young man for the shamo (Japanese) researchers who used to visit his village and family home.

“In those days I despised scholars of Ainu culture from the bottom of my heart . . .

“Each time they came to Nibutani, they left with folk utensils. They dug up our sacred tombs and carried away our ancestral bones....

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