AINU, the indigenous people in Hokkaido and neighbor Islands.
Japan has 4 major islands and many smaller islands around the major islands. Hokkaido is one of the major islands, and is the Northernmost, the second largest one. It accounts 78,000 km2. It is little smaller than Ireland, and is little larger than Sri Lanka.
In Hokkaido Island and some neighbor islands belongs to the subarctic climate area, the human has been living since over 22,000 years ago depending on the rich natural resources from forests and seas. A lot of ruins teach us there was no white page in the history book from that time until recently. Through some big ethnical changes, SATSUMON people became conspicuous of the island in the end of 12 century. The SATSUMON people is considered the origin of AINU people living now. From 13 to 19 centuries, they had archived progressing the original AINU cultures with hunting, fishing, collecting plants, and trading treasures with other peoples including Japanese.
In 1869, about 140 years ago, the Japanese government from Tokyo in Honsyu island established the Developing Office in Sapporo, Hokkaido. The Office started developing Hokkaido with great power. Many soldiers and migrators came from other major islands of Japan to Hokkaido. With the Japanese imperialism, the Developing Office never admitted the human rights of "natives". The Office inhibited AINU people to live in their way. They were forced to speak Japanese language, to go to Japanese schools, to name Japanese names and to wear Japanese dresses. And they were plundered their places and were forced moving. AINU people lost the rights of hunting and fishing, but got duties of working and military services.
Although Japanese government had turned from imperialism into democracy after loosing WW II, 1945, but had not admitted the rights of self-determinations of AINU people for long time. At last, in 2007, the government ratified the united nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, and presumed AINU people as indigenous people.
AINU people has about 24,000 of population. Japanese has about 128,000,000 people.
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