Thursday, March 18, 2010

Aynu people

Hokkaido, the north of Japan, had natives called "Aynu." Aynu means "human being", "friend", "partner", etc. This word "Aynu" was used only for good person. Bad people are called "wenpe." Today, almost no one speaks this language. A long time ago, since immigrants came from other parts of Japan, Aynu people began to be discriminated. So they tried to marry non-Aynu or "Japanese" people to try to decrease their Aynu blood. Therefore, their culture is almost lost even though some people in Hokkaido probably have ancestor from Aynu people.
Instead of Aynu people, today I'll show some Aynu vocaburary as one of Aynu culture.

OK... I will talk about the word "Kamuy" today.
Kamuy basically means "God". This word can be used with many other words, and meaning becomes different. For example, "kamuy kaka" means a bear, "kamuy cep" means a salmon, "kanna kamuy" means lightning, "tokap cup kamuy" means the sun. As you can notice, the word "kamuy" involves everything from nature including weather, animals, and phenomenon. It can be assumed that Aynu people might always keep respect to the nature in Hokkaido.

I can talk more about the Aynu language, but I stop here because it is specific enough.
By the way, my father and grandfather are from Hokkaido. So... there is a possibility that my family has ancestor from Aynu. Or I'm just a general Japanese.

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