Historical Reprints History Alone With The Hairy Ainu

Alone With The Hairy Ainu

Alone With The Hairy Ainu
Catalog # SKU3549
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name A. H. Savage Landor
ISBN 10: 0000000000
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Alone With
The Hairy Ainu

3,800 Miles On A Pack Saddle
In Yezo And A Cruise
To The Kurile Islands

A. H. Savage Landor

This book is not meant as a literary work, for I am not and do not pretend to be a literary man. It is but a record-an amplified log-book, as it were-of what befell me during my solitary peregrinations in Hokkaido, and a collection of notes and observations which I hope will prove interesting to anthropologists and ethnologists as well as to the general public.



Without any claim to infallibility I have tried to take an open-minded and sensible view of everything I have attempted to describe; in most cases, however, I have given facts without passing an opinion at all, and all I have said I have tried to express as simply and plainly as possible, so as not to give rise to misunderstandings.

There are a few points which I want to make quite clear.

First, that I went to Hokkaido entirely on my own account and for my own satisfaction. Next, that I accomplished the whole journey (some 4200 miles, out of which 3800 were ridden on horseback and on a rough pack-saddle) perfectly alone. By alone I mean that I had with me no friends, no servants, and no guides. My baggage consisted of next to nothing, so far as articles for my own convenience or comfort were concerned. I carried no provisions and no tent.

I am endowed with a very sensitive nature, and I pride myself in possessing the gift of adaptability to an extreme degree, and this may partly explain why and how I could live so long with and like the Ainu, whose habits and customs, as my readers will see, are somewhat different to ours.

When I go to a country I do my best to be like one of the natives themselves, and, whether they are savage or not, I endeavour to show respect for them and their ideas, and to conform to their customs for the time being. I make up my mind that what is good for them must be good enough for me, and though I have occasionally had to swear at myself for "doing in Ainuland as the Ainu does," especially as regards the food, I was not much the worse for it in the end. I never use force when I can win with kindness, and in my small experience in Hokkaido and other countries I have always found that real savages in their simplicity are most "gentleman-like" people. With few exceptions they are good-natured, dignified, and sensible, and the chances are that if you are fair to them they will be fair to you. Civilised savages and barbarians I always found untrustworthy and dangerous.

The Island of Yezo, with the smaller islands near its coast, and the Kurile group, taken together, are called "the Hokkaido." The Hokkaido extends roughly from 41º to 51º latitude north, and between 139º and 157º longitude east of Greenwich.

My view of the origin of the word Ainu is this: Ainu is but a corruption or abbreviation of Ai-num, "they with hair," or "hairy men," or else of Hain-num, "come with hair," or "descended hairy." Considering that the Ainu pride themselves above all things on their hairiness, it does not seem improbable to me that this may be the correct origin of the word, and that they called themselves after the distinguishing characteristic of their race.

The word Ainu is a generic term, and is used both in the singular and plural; but when specifying, the words Kuru (people, men), utaragesh (woman), etc., are generally added to it: viz., Ainu kuru, Ainu people, Ainu men; Ainu utaragesh, an Ainu woman; Ainu utaragesh utara, several Ainu women.

The Ainu population of Yezo is roughly reckoned by the Japanese at about 15,000 or 17,000 souls, but at least half this number are half-castes, and in my opinion (and I have visited nearly every Ainu village in Yezo) the number of thoroughbred Ainu does not exceed 8000 souls. The illustrations in this book are my own, and are the reproductions from sketches which I took on the spot. They may not show much artistic merit, but they seem to me to be characteristic of the country and the people, and I hope that my readers will be impressed with them in the same way.

430 pages - 7x 8½ softcover

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