Our Land Was A Forest: An Ainu Memoir by Kayano Kayano ShigeruOur Land Was A Forest: An Ainu Memoir by Kayano Kayano Shigeru

Our Land Was A Forest: An Ainu Memoir

byKayano Kayano Shigeru, Mark Selden, Kayano Shigeru

Paperback | April 1, 1994

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This book is a beautiful and moving personal account of the Ainu, the native inhabitants of Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, whose land, economy, and culture have been absorbed and destroyed in recent centuries by advancing Japanese. Based on the author's own experiences and on stories passed down from generation to generation, the book chronicles the disappearing world—and courageous rebirth—of this little-understood people.Kayano describes with disarming simplicity and frankness the personal conflicts he faced as a result of the tensions between a traditional and a modern society and his lifelong efforts to fortify a living Ainu culture. A master storyteller, he paints a vivid picture of the Ainus' ecologically sensitive lifestyle, which revolved around bear hunting, fishing, farming, and woodcutting.Unlike the few existing ethnographies of the Ainu, this account is the first written by an insider intimately tied to his own culture yet familiar with the ways of outsiders. Speaking with a rare directness to the Ainu and universal human experience, this book will interest all readers concerned with the fate of indigenous peoples.
Kayano Shigeru is the founder and director of the Kayano Shigeru Ainu Memorial Museum. He is a Diet member, the first Ainu to be elected. Kyoko Selden teaches Japanese at Cornell University. Lili Selden is a graduate student in Japanese literature at the University of Michigan. Kayano Shigeru is the founder and director of the Kayano S...
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Title:Our Land Was A Forest: An Ainu MemoirFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.44 inPublished:April 1, 1994Publisher:Avalon Publishing

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0813318807

ISBN - 13:9780813318806

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An Ainu Memoir. This is an absorbing account of Ainu life written by an Ainu striving to preserve his people's cultural heritage and sense of nationhood. Unlike many accounts by outsiders, which impose predetermined socio-anthropological categories on indigenous cultures, Kayano Shigeru offers a living testimonial to the history, ethos, customs beliefs, hopes, and aspirations of a people whose way of life has been undermined by successive waves of invasion of their homeland by the Japanese.