Talk:Ainu people

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Regions with significant populations[edit]

It seems odd to me that Kamchatka Krai population is listed separately since it is part of Russia, should the Russia entry include "(excluding Kamchatka Kai)"? Kevink707 (talk) 17:48, 25 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion[edit]

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The section claimed "several historians" without naming any. Obviously C. Loring Brace isn't one and isn't one. I can't find anyone who agrees and thus this is WP:UNDUE. A quick search turns up these sources about the relationship between them.[1][2][3] Doug Weller talk 16:02, 28 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Back and forth editing[edit]

I want to urge both DerekHistorian and Gyatso1 to bring their arguments to this talk page, instead of doing wild back and forth edits which will make it hard for other editors to re-check the recent edits. I share DerekHistorian's concern about claims not backed up by sources, including claims inserted in edits by Gyatso1. But the speed of deletes and insertions comes close to edit warring, and both of you should come to a calm discussion here and not heat up flames on personal talk pages. Doug Weller, probably you can come in too and help to moderate please. –Austronesier (talk) 20:29, 9 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

List of Ainu People[edit]

Wasn't there a "List of Ainu" people page or at least a list of "Notable Ainu", just like most ethnicities have on Wikipedia? For example, here's the Tatar's page and the Nivkh people#Notable Nivkhs. I think there should be one. Many important Ainu are listed in the article, but finding this information takes time. Hopefully, there isn't a safety or discriminatory factor that must be considered here. Also, Chisato ("Kitty") O. Dubreuil should be on the list. She is of Ainu ancestry and is likely the most famous academic researcher in Ainu studies. Her books are referenced throughout most Ainu pages on Wikipedia. MXMLLN (talk) 11:01, 22 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another pop culture reference to Ainu[edit]

Kanna Kamui, a character from Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is heavily inspired by Ainu culture. Her clothing, described by Kobayashi as "gothic lolita with tribal theme" has similar geometric patterns as Ainu clothes and uses similar beads as an accesory. Even her name and the ability to control electricity is a reference to Kanna kamuy, god of thunder. Misztra (talk) 02:45, 4 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd like to add the anime Golden Kamuy. The Ainu people play a big part in the story and one of them is a co-protagonist. I think it does a great job of depicting the Ainu people as well as it could. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:13, 31 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion[edit]

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Modern scientific racism[edit]

The image File:Mongoloid Australoid Negrito Asia Distribution of Asian peoples Sinodont Sundadont.GIF has been removed from the origins section. This is a recent user created map which promotes "Mongoloid" as if it were a term currently in use. As the article itself points out, this word is no longer used to describe the Ainu people as it is part of the race theories of the human race being genetically divided into a white race, yellow race, black race etc. which may be valid to discuss in a historical context using contemporary images making it clear the theories are debunked, but is inappropriate to promote as if they were current science. Thanks -- (talk) 04:25, 7 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jared Diamond hypothesis on Ainu and Jomon people[edit]

Prof. Jared Diamond in a 1998 article discusses the origin of the Ainu people, the Jomon people and the even more complex issue of the origin of the Yamato Japanese main population of Japan.

In Search of Japanese Roots Where did the ancestors of the modern Japanese come from? The answers is shrouded in a mystery not everyone wants solved.

A quote: "Genetic studies of the past three years have also at last resolved the controversy about the origins of the Ainu: they are the descendants of Japan’s ancient Jomon inhabitants, mixed with Korean genes of Yayoi colonists and of the modern Japanese." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:56, 12 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

They are not the Jomon[edit]

The idea of the Aniu descending from the Jomon has been debunked. CycoMa (talk) 01:30, 7 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@CycoMa: That link is not a scientific source/WP:RS source, and the claim it makes does not seem to link to one (to a recent scientific source) supporting that statement. Nor can the Jomon be called "proto-Japanese" as the website claims (according to the sources, the Japanese are mostly descended from the later-arriving Yayoi people, have only a little Jomon ancestry on average, and are quite distict from the Jomon). Recent genetic studies (some analyzing Jomon remains) agree that the Japanese are mostly Yayoi (with a little Jomon) and the Ainu (who are native to northern Japan) are mostly of Jomon descent (with some minority admixture from other Siberian groups and also presumably from the Japanese and/or Yayoi). Skllagyook (talk) 02:15, 7 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
FWIW, EB is a RS which can be employed with extra care (cf. WP:BRITANNICA) and due weight against more specialized sources. In this case, the simplistic statements in EB ("scholars have claimed that the bearers of the Jōmon culture were ancestors of the Ainu [...] Scientific investigation of the bones of Jōmon people carried out since the beginning of the 20th century, however, has disproved this theory"; "[the Jomon people] seem to have constituted a single ethnic stock with more or less consistent characteristics") are in stark contrast the findings in specialized sources, especially genetic studies. In such a case, scientific sources, especially research overviews such as this one by Schmidt & Seguchi (very valuable, but often misquoted), are preferred over EB.
@Austronesier: I see; my mistake (EB can be WP:RS). However, in this case, its statement seems to be unsourced from scientific research (or perhaps a misinterpretation of it), should not take precedence over genetic studies (to which it is, as you mention, in stark contrast), and seems to be undue here. Schmidt & Seguchi (2015) does not seem so much to conflict with or challenge the finding that the Ainu descend from the Jomon, but rather suggests that the Jomon many not have been an entirely homogenous group (and may have descended from more than one population originating from Paleolithic/early Mesolithic Siberia), and their study seems to reinforce/be consistent with other findings that there are affinities between the Ainu and Jomon groups (and to a lesser extent between the Jomon and Ryukyans/Japanese). The recent sources I was referring to above are Gahukari et al. 2019 (third page [[4]]) and Kanazawa-Kiriyama et al 2019 (page 19 [[5]]), which both find evidence of a substantial amount of Jomon ancestry in the Ainu using ancient DNA from Hokkaido Jomon samples. Skllagyook (talk) 15:02, 7 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Skllagyook: I am just as baffled as you how the authors[6][7] of the first part of the EB article can come to such odd conclusions. Wordings like "scientific investigation of the bones" ring a bell: is this an attempt to dumb down the lingo for the sake of the common reader who might not be familiar with "craniometry" and "skeletal DNA", or is this indicative that paleogenetics lies outside of their actual expertise? Just a thought. –Austronesier (talk) 15:31, 7 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photo in Infobox is probably not Ainu[edit]

This photo " AinuSan.jpg [8] is described on the Japanese page as = "Staff members of the National Ainu Museum in Shiraoi, Hokkaido. They wear traditional costumes (Ruumpe = cotton clothing) from the coastal area of Uchiura Bay." So they are most likely Japanese people dressed in Ainu clothing. Maybe they are mixed, part Ainu, but it's not a good representation of the original Ainu people. So it shouldn't be used as a photo in the infobox. This is what ethnic Ainu look like = AinuGroup.JPG [9] which is notably different. - Artanisen (talk) 20:14, 8 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That photo is good, and you're right, the difference is there, but it would be better to may find a higher-quality, in-colour photo if possible. One of the big problems facing this article at the minute is that many of the sources are over a century old - and so there's more of a tendency to think of the Ainu people as a minority that 'did' exist, rather than a minority that still exists. I'd really like to find a modern photo, if possible; I've already found a number of modern sources I might buy to do up this article. As for the infobox photo at the minute; it should probably go somewhere further down the article. -- Ineffablebookkeeper (talk) 12:12, 9 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have replaced the image with another modern image of a traditional Ainu marriage. This should be better and shows more Ainu. I also think that it would be a good idea to include more recent information about the Ainu and the current situation, culture and daily life of the Ainu people. They are a living ethnic group and not a museum exhibit.--RobertoY20 (talk) 14:26, 9 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ineffablebookkeeper well there are very few Ainu left. The amount of practitioners of their culture and language decreases every few years. The Ainu culture, way of life and language are moribund. It could disappear in a couple of decades to a century (save for Museums and festivals). Many of the Ainu who still exist are mixed and/or don't live the traditional lifestyle anymore. So old photographs better represent the original Ainu people. I agree that the infobox photo should be high quality. A recent photograph would be good if it's available on Wikimedia Commons. It should be verified that the people in the photo are Ainu (not people cosplaying and acting). Old sources aren't bad due to their age. If there is a new source (study etc) with a better explanation of something then it can be used. - Artanisen (talk) 19:07, 10 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Japanese agenda in the article[edit]

Why on Earth are the Ainu in all these photos majority Japanese mix? when there was photos here previously of pure Ainu. They have been removed. There are plenty of copyright free vintage photos of actual Ainu out there for use. This is misleading and will make people believe the Ainu are just a subgroup of Japanese people, similar to how Irish travelers are ethnically Irish but are a sub-cultural group. The actual ainu look nothing like these people. Wikipedia strikes again with it's regional government meddling. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:BB6:6871:B658:EC2B:F578:FDFE:E3D (talk) 12:34, 26 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia doesn't have a regional government agenda. It should be noted that "appearing" Ainu may not actually be a good reflection of a person's ethnicity or family history, at all; the idea that someone has to "look" Ainu to "be" Ainu is, to put it very mildly, problematic and inaccurate. The statement that "Irish Travellers are ethnically Irish but a sub-cultural group" is also one - and I am guessing here, I'm not learned on Traveller issues but I think I'm in the right ballpark - that doesn't feel like it rings true. They're not a sub-group, so much as a group with their own entire culture and identity. If your idea is that Ainu people are a small, sequestered people with a set appearance that's only clear in a black-and-white image from the 1900s, then I don't think you're here to build the project at all.
As for the date of the picture - the picture isn't a good one, I agree with that. It isn't clear; none of the people are front-and-centre in the shot. However, for an article where an entire section is taken from a source from the early 1900s, the emphasis has to be that the Ainu people still exist, and are not antiquated; these are people with real ethnicities and ethnic histories, whose identity was, for the longest of times, suppressed - see Japanese dialects for details on the suppression of, for instance, the Ainu language. Thus, a modern image, not one taken in the 1900s, is the better choice, even if it isn't the best image we have. --Ineffablebookkeeper (talk) 23:01, 26 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Most pictures seem to be of historical Ainu with three of modern Ainu. I see no problem with that. The article even mentions that not all historical Ainu did look like the ones you have in mind. I do not see what this have to do with a Japanese agenda. The article clearly mentions the difference, both ethno-linguistic and cultural. Zainichi or Ryukyuans look even less different and there is no doubt that they are different ethno-linguistic groups. Also calling them "majority Japanese mix" sounds more then strange and anyway without any basis. But that is my opinion. (talk) 18:43, 26 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do agree a lot of the pictures here are misleading. I also felt there was a agenda in the article. It was basically removing everything about them relating their connection to west eurasian/caucasian although I do believe they are Mongoloid population with pseudo-Caucasian appearance.Vamlos (talk) 11:41, 7 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Mongoloid" is an outdated and insulting racist term. These terminologies have no place on Wikipedia Himeaimichu (talk) 20:36, 23 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


A village is called a kotan in the Ainu language. In Albanian language village is called katun. Mazarin07 (talk) 10:16, 7 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Usage of Ainu language by Officials[edit]

In the second paragraph of language, it states that the Ainu language was used by Officials. It was not sourced and is contrary to the fact of the matter that it was banned along with their culture. It does somewhat feel like it is there to diminish the crimes of colonial Japan. Mr anonymous username (talk) 07:53, 12 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recent removal of sourced content and fringe arguments about "pseudo white Caucasians" and "mixed breeds"[edit]

I have recently removed some pictures and moved their position per WP:Gallery. A user than suddenly reverted making a fringe edit summary about "pseudo white Caucasians". This is hopefully a joke? While everyone should know in 2022 that race does not exist, I am amazed that some people keep holding up such terminology. Furthermore, no pictures showing Ainu people got removed other than paintings and one sitting Ainu. This should not trigger an edit war normally. Vamlos (talk · contribs) Hopefully you can explain yourself. Racist terminology is not use able neither the removal of various content.- (talk) 22:06, 18 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I must say that terminology such as "mixed breed" related to modern humans is unacceptable! Such terminology and worldviews do NOT have a place in an encyclopedia such as Wikipedia.- (talk) 22:08, 18 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, uh, yikes. At best, this editor is parroting views that were in vogue a century ago. Not great. Dumuzid (talk) 22:37, 18 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I've removed direct copyvio which also might be factually incorrect; I can only get to a snippet at the source.[1]. The copyvio was the sentence about the vast majority of men compelling women, but the book says Wajin men, and we replaced that with Yamato Japanese men, which I don't have the knowledge to assess as correct or not. And I can't put it into quotes with attribution because of the word change. valereee (talk) 12:03, 19 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looks like it was added in this edit by a now-blocked sock. It was added as Wajin, then subsequently changed to Wa-Jin, then to Yamato Japanese. valereee (talk) 12:19, 19 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Lewallen, Ann-Elise (October 2016). The Fabric of Indigeneity: Ainu Identity, Gender, and Settler Colonialism in Japan. University of New Mexico Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-8263-5737-3.

Gallery problem[edit]

Why some users (specifically you 2001:4BC9:925:12A7:B14B:D3B7:5B51:9B26 (talk · contribs)) keep including more pictures when the page is already full? See WP:Gallery. We do not need hundreds of pictures. I removed two misplaced pictures about the distribution in Hokkaido and the proposed spread of language (a rather bad quality map from google earth), which are better used in respective articles, such as Ainu languages or Hokkaido.- (talk) 10:04, 20 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Russians being described as " Red Haired Ainu's " by the Japanese (don't let that be removed).[edit]

Here is what the Japanese described Russians with Ainu in the 18th century " Interest in the Russians, described as “red-haired Ainu” by some writers, led to a work by the Sendai doctor Kudo ̄ Heisuke, who memorialized the Tanuma government in 1783 urging that defensive measures be taken against the Russians. "

Source is right here: The Making of Modern Japan - Page 261 Marius B. Jansen · 2002

Relationship between Ainu and Äynu[edit]

I wonder if there's any relationship between the Ainu people and the Turkic Äynu people Ghizz Archus (talk) 18:48, 8 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd say there's almost certainly no relationship. -- Troopersho (talk) 13:11, 21 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ainu population in Japan is not 200,000 (1971 figure)[edit]

The 200,000 figure is a wild overestimation. It is based on a 1971 survey. In 1971 the survey estimated 77,000 people in Hokkaido as ethnic Ainu and a total of 200,000 Ainu people across Japan. In 2017 the Hokkaido Prefectural Government survey estimated 13,000 people. If the highest number is assumed to be correct, the total population of ethnic Ainu in line with demographic decline of the overall Japanese population due to the low total birth rate would be around 33,000 people in 2022. The Ainu language is moribund with less than 100 native Ainu speakers. -Artanisen (talk) 09:22, 9 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Yesso" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

An editor has identified a potential problem with the redirect Yesso and has thus listed it for discussion. This discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2022 July 7#Yesso until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 09:22, 7 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Inuit are Northern tribe people who live from Greenland to Alska. They live on water like many Ainu do aswell. I think i saw a documentary were Ainu people had the same kayaks as Inuit. Is there a change that Apnu people are from the same history and maybe gene group as Inuit people? I see some simularities in habits and even in their names and they are both very old tribes. (talk) 14:42, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Isn’t princess monoke somehow involved[edit]

Supposedly one character in this TV production is native a Japanese or Ainu 2600:1012:B13F:2B6A:D131:D717:7CC6:F084 (talk) 01:02, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Internal Contradiction?[edit]

The article leads off by giving this piece of trivia a prominent place in the opening: "Contrary to popular belief, the Ainu are not believed to have been the first settlers of the island of Hokkaido. Archeological evidence suggests that ancient Japanese Jomon people inhabited Hokkaido early on and Ainu people may have only appeared after 13th century, as a result of migration from more northern islands and what is now Far East Russia."

I'm not sure that's important enough to be highlighted in the article introduction, but the article goes straight on to History/Pre-modern... and it seemingly contradicts what was stated in the introduction when it indicates that "The Ainu are the native people of Hokkaido, Sakhalin and the Kurils."? This entire pre-modern section has no mention of the Ainu only appearing on Hokkaido after the 13th century.

Could someone with more authority on the subject kindly rewrite the intro and the "pre-modern" section so that they make sense? Where does the "merger of the Okhotsk and Satsumon cultures" take place within the context of not appearing on Hokkaido until after the 13th century (so... 14th century, I presume?).

As I read on, it gets worse. "The Ainu have often been considered to descend from the diverse Jōmon people who lived in northern Japan from the Jōmon period". This is from the Origins section. Why is this not part of the Pre-modern History section? Why not limit the pre-modern history section to the history of the actual Ainu rather than include speculation about their origins and then leave that for the "Origins" section?

The entire section "Ethnic Rights" should be merged into the "History" section. This is modern Ainu history, isn't it? The whole "Assimilation after annexation" is shockingly breif. But maybe my Canadian bias is showing - we would need a LOT more than a few paragraphs to describe the horrific assimilation and cultural genocide that took place "after annexation". I'm surprised this is so brief.

Thanks so much for making Wikipedia awesome. LadyIslay (talk) 03:29, 19 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@LadyIslay: The POV piece in the lead was added two weeks ago. I have removed it as a quick fix. The article indeed needs some reworking, but that is not as easily handled as drive-by POV-bombing of the lead. Will look into it later. –Austronesier (talk) 06:16, 19 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My changes were undone?[edit]

Hi all. I'm new to editing here on Wikipedia, although I do have editing experience elsewhere. I'm a little confused because, while I was in the process of editing, apparently someone else undid some of my changes to a previous section of this article? Since my changes were mostly minor grammar/syntax stuff, I'm not quite sure what is going on. Also, I'm not completely sure which of my changes got saved. I use screenreading software, so maybe this is part of the issue.I don't want to get into an editing war--peace is more important than being right. I just put a lot of time into this, so it would be nice to know why my changes were undone. If I did something wrong in the Wiki rules I don't understand yet, I appologize. HeatherRB (talk) 19:05, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello HeatherRB, sorry you had that experience! Your changes were actually undone by a bot and not a human user. ClueBOT for some reason thought your changes looked like vandalism (my review shows nothing of the sort, to be clear). It's a bit mysterious, but I will be reporting it as a false positive, and please continue as you were! Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 19:24, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, OK. No worries! I was very confused. Thanks for your help. HeatherRB (talk) 21:58, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have just overworked some parts of the article; such as removing unsourced and misplaced paragraphs as well as non-RS cites, but also re-wording some statements per given references. This includes claims of non-RS links arguing the Ainu to be new comers from Far East Russia during the 13th century rather than being derived (at least primarily) from the local Jomon period cultures which is the general concensus; but also the removal of a section named "Caucasoid theories" which lacked any reference, and is fringe/undue weight. Lastly, removing/moving parts of the genetic section which either were misplaced (mtDNA in YDNA section) or unrelated to the scope of this article (possible places of origin of haplogroups). - I also added some secondary literature, which may also be further relevant for other sections of this article. See:[10], [11], and [12]. Its still not perfect, but at least an improvement (or I hope so). I may find time to salvage more out of the secondary cites here, but currently have only temporaly time. If there are any problems, please let me know. Regards.-Wikiuser1314 (talk) 16:10, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Wikiuser1314: A good start! As a next step, let's TNT the entire Genetics section, especially its haplocruft. There are a handful of good and much-cited primary sources that cover Jomon genomes as main topic (i.e. not just as one out of hundred data points in Supplmentary table 28), and also secondary sources that at least devote a paragraph or two to Jomon ancestry. That's something to build on. –Austronesier (talk) 19:52, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks! I will try to do so. Regards.-Wikiuser1314 (talk) 10:00, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]