北の生活文化(Ainu people from the medieval~)

 

 

北の生活文化(Ainu people from the medieval to modern period )


 

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 Hokkaido is home to both indigenous Ainu people and Japanese people. The Ainu have long lived on the island and have created their own culture while the Japanese came to Hokkaido later, after the 13th century. Large-scale Japanese immigration started in the Meiji era in the late 19th century to develop the inland areas and consequently, the culture and traditional society of the Ainu collapsed due to assimilation policies.
 
Ainu people from the medieval to modern period
 
 Human beings first appeared in Hokkaido in the Paleolithic age some 20,000 years ago. An agricultural society was formed around the 3rd century B.C. in Honshu, while a society based on hunting, fishing, gathering and primitive forms of agriculture long. continued due to the harsh climate.

 The formation of cultural archetypes and creation of ethnic solidarity is thot1ght to have taken place among Ainu people in the medieval period during the Kamakura, Muromachi and Sengoku eras. During this time, Ainu people began to undergo changes in their lifestyle that had been supported by the traditional activities of primitive agriculture, hunting, fishing and gathering.

 Japanese settlers increasingly expanded their areas of activities, moving into Ainu territories in the 15th century and causing a serious state of confrontation and conflict which lasted one century. The conflict was settled by the lord Kakizaki who later formed the Matsumae family.

 Consequently I Japanese governance by the Matsumae clan was established in the 17th century. Ainu people were subsequently forced into unfair trade agreements and were paid inadequate prices.

 In 1669, mounting dissatisfaction on the part of Ainu people finally triggered an uprising in what is now Shizunai. The uprising was referred to as the "Shakushain Uprising" and was named after an area leader. The Ainu people were caught in a trap and defeated. Trade and business related to the fishing industry in Ezo (Hokkaido) were exclusively undertaken by authorized Japanese merchants. This arrangement led to a greater level of control over the Ainu by the Japanese as well as to drastic changes in the traditional society and culture of the Ainu.
 
Development of Japanese settlement
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3. Herring fishing 4. Trading post transactions between Ainu and
  Japanese people (Overseen by supervisors
  sent by the Tokugawa Shogunate to ensure
  fair trade)
 The first Japanese settlement was designated in the mid 16th century when the island was a penal colony and not under the control of the medieval nation. The settlement encompassed Shiriuchi to the east and the River Amano in Kaminokuni to the west where many Ainu people also lived in the early days. The area of settlement continued to expand to include the entire Oshima peninsula by the end of the Tokugawa period at the end of the 19th century. Fukuyama in Matsumae town was the center of the settlement with its castle of the Matsumae clan and it prospered as the seat of the clan's government and the center of trade with Esashi and Hakodate as well.

 Most residents in a town like Matsumae relied on food and supplies offered by traveling merchants and they were supported by trade with the Ainu or by selling salmon, herring and kelp to merchants. In addition, they sold dried abalone and small dried sardines which were important export items to China shipped exclusively from Nagasaki.

 The Japanese settlers' salmon catch began to decline in the early lath century as did the herring catch toward the end of the century. This resulted in an increased number of settlers who were involved in fishing moving from the settlement to other areas of Hokkaido which was then referred to as Ezo. While agriculture and handicrafts did not develop much. fishing remained a major industry until the end of the 19th century.

 The total population of Ezo at the end of the Tokugawa period in the 19th century was comprised of around 17,000 Ainu, including those in Sakhalin, and over 60,000 Japanese.
 
Immigration to Hokkaido from the late 19th century
 
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5. People who were victims of flood settled in
  Makkari village from Yamanashi prefecture, 1909
6. Brochure to recruit immigrants, 1911
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7. Sapporo Head Office. Hokkaido Development Commission
 Most of the immigrants who came to Hokkaido during the period under the governance of the Matsumae clan were engaged in the fishery industry along the coastal areas of the island. The Hokkaido Development Commission adopted policies to aid immigrants by helping with transportation costs and providing food for settlers for the purpose of defensive preparations and development of the island. These policies were best represented by the institutionalized system of farmer soldiers who were a vital force for cultivating the land and for defense.

 The Hokkaido Government was established in 1886 and abolished the traditional policies to aid immigrants in an attempt to encourage private initiatives in the course of developing the island through the injection of a large amount of capital from Honshu. The government began the cultivation of selected areas and amended the legal framework so as to sell a large undeveloped land area to the private sector. Changes in legal institutions triggered active investment by landowners, nobility and businessmen with political affiliations in Honshu and led to an increased number of immigrants as well.

 The number of immigrants surged between 1900 and around 1920 from 50,000 to 80,000 annually, leading to accelerated development in the inland areas. The year 1918 marked the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Hokkaido when the total population reached some 2.17 million and the cultivated land area expanded to 800,000ha.

 The number of immigrants declined subsequently until policies to aid immigrants was readopted. These immigrants were officially authorized to settle on the island by the Hokkaido Government for the specific purpose of cultivating the Konsen Windedness area in the eastern Part Of the island.
 
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