Many Thanks for Kind Mails Part-2

orig: 98/07/02
Thank you for continuous flow of E-mails, Friends.
Let me present a portion of mails received.
My response here is being written now, 98/07/02. The response may be different from what I actually sent back to the original sender. Senders' names are abbreviated.

Cindy in Sweden wrote:
Thank you for creating such an interesting and useful page. I am doing research on Ainu and education/Japanese ethnic education and problems in contemporary framework of indigenous movements in Japan. I am wondering if you can tell me why you decided to create this page?
I fail to find my response to Cindy in log. If I have not responded yet, please accept my apology. I remember that I was at least mentally composing my response. That was something like:
    My interest is more in ancient days rather than in "contemporary framework". My initial intrest was in origin of Japanese language, which has led me into reading old history books and Ainu language books. This was after I had read about western ancient languages, such as Indo-European comparative studies, cuneforms, hieroglyphs, as well as recent books on ancient Japanese language and people.

Chris in U.K. posed following question:

I'm trying to find information on Ainu that ended up going to Russia instead of Japan, when the two countries started fighting over the border in the last century.

I have not been able to respond to this question. If any of the readers here knows, kindly advise me. I'd love to transfer it to Chris.

Jason discusses as follows:

I believe that your stated criterion for thinking that the Ainu and Caucasian languages are unrelated is unconvincing. You write: "To me, this [blood type of the Ainu as compared to Caucasians] singly is enough to negate that Ainu is Caucasian." I am not familiar with a Caucasian langauge group, if there is one.

Setting that aside, "blood type" has absolutely no connection to the language in use.

Moreover, I am not familiar with Dr. Matsumoto's book, but I cannot help but believe that the whole concept of "blood types" to track "racial groups" is flawed.

Jason appears to think that I confuse "language" and "people"matters. I may sometimes be vague in choice of words or by lack of words when writing or speaking. However, in mind, they are clearly two different issues.

My statements in this homepage are:

    (1) Ainu language is not related to Altaic languages, and
    (2) Ainu people are not Caucasians (people).
For Dr. Matsumoto's work, please refer to Page 7a. As one looks at the Gm blood type distribution there, he or she would be convinced that the particular blood type is representing the so-called "race."

Will in Minnesota wrote as:

Hi... Saw this: Another point is that in Ural Altai langauge, no words start with an "R". Ainu has a lot of words that start with an "R". About 5% of pages of a dictionary is under "R".

Just thought I would point out that many Finnish words stard with an 'r':)

Modern or current Finnish has many r-words. However, they are all determined as borrowed words from other languages, mostly Indo-European languages.

Bernie of U.K. says:

Whilst some authors note that today's modern Ainu has a paler complexion than his other Japanese neighbours, other authors have argued that Ainu man is indeed of an Aboriginal descent, providing photographic evidence in the process. (See: Cambridge Encyclopedia of Japan. 1983)

Thus, I am inclined to agree with you on this one, and would argue that in my opinion, many authors blindly acknowledge Ainu people as Caucasian as a form of determining where they may have come from, without the relevant evidence to back up such statements. As no-one is able to provide evidence of a rock-like nature, many authors tend to hypothesise about what may have been, and yet in countering this, there is photographic and living proof on the island of Hokkaido, which clearly signifies the true genetic type of Ainu man!

Well, photos are often informative. However, I'm not sure how much a photo or two or three of that number of persons would represent an evidence. Similar reservation that I have is about the headbone "measurement". Change in living environment could change bone structures. I'd rather take conclusions (however temprorary) of headbone "small deviations" , "ATL virus", "mitochondria DNA" as briefly described in Page 11.

Don came back with a nice comment:

Hello, Gen! I enjoyed your new comments section. You certainly hear from a lot of interesting people. Thanks for including me!

[In another mail]
Here's to Mr. Murayama's continuing (we hope!) good health...

Thank you, Don. Write me again with your news.
As announced, we had to share the sad news about Mr. Murayama, a big loss.

Frank in SFO wrote:

Thank you for this fascinating information. I have long been interested in the Ainu. Yours is one of only 2 valid references listed on the YAHOO search engine on the internet.

I also noted in a book by former US ambassador Edwin Renslaer (my spelling of his name is incorrect) that he said the Ainu occupied the northern third of Honshu as late as the 6th century AD.

Yes. From where we today call Hitachi city area and northward, different people lived. It is recorded both in Nihon Shoki and Hitachi Fudoki. I plan to describe this (area/people) in future. And, my theory is that the "different" people lived not only in the northern part of Japan, but across all over Japan.

Don came back with a new finding!:

An article I just read states that the Armenian language has no words beginning with R (the R-sound). This does not imply a connection between Armenian, an independent Indo-European tongue stuck away in the Caucasus Mountains, and Ainu. It merely demonstrates that other languages, totally unrelated to those we have been discussing, also have an initial R-sound prohibition.

I trust that the shocking news of Dr. Murayama's death has not derailed your own progress. Keep up the good work!

Thank you, Don, for the information, new to me. So, "Ural-Altai languages do not have R-sound-starting words" may be correct. However, "If a language does not have an R-word, it should belong to Ural-Altai" is a FALSE statement. Let's note.

Thank you for the kind words.

Marc from Canada:

I enjoyed your web site. I work for (a Japanese company) in Canada and was transfered to (Tokyo) from 1993-95. I have always been interested in history and archeology, so I became interested in Ainu. Yet I was shocked at how little my Japanese colleagues knew about Ainu, only that they 'were always in Hokkaido. I found this strange and said that most probably Ainu were originally settled in all of 4 main islands, but then invaders came to the islands probably from the Korean peninsula and pushed the Ainu to the remotest parts, i.e. Hokkaido。。。 Of course these (invaders) became modern day (Japanese)。。。

Based on history in other parts of the world, this would make the most sense. So I was surprised when my fellow Japanese sneered at my silly layman's theory, telling me that this was totally impossible... They seemed to have almost no knowledge of Ainu yet seemed to hate them or even not admit to their existence.... I always felt sorry for their ignorance.

So anyway, please keep writing about Ainu language and history and I will continue to visit your web site.


Yeah, it is really embarassing when I find my colleague(?) Japanese who has no knowledge or interest in his/her country's history, or roots. The fact is at least partially attributable to the general hatered against the old militarism which employed the mysterious ancient history to something devine and abused it. Unbalanced self-respect makes an arrogance. Please just remember that NOT ALL are such.

George living in Japan wrote:

Your work is very interesting and I am glad that I found your excellent web page. I wonder if Murayama used some mythology for his basis for his work (Ainu and Austronesian languages). I have heard that some families (One family that I know of is the Kuki family) have very old scrolls on history and religion. From what I have been told is that they have a different history on the origins of Japan than the well know books (Kojiki and Nihon Shoki). For example, Malaysians invading Japan around 550 BC. Have you heard of these books?

There are several "history books" that the academic society has not "admitted" as genuine. Documents of Kuki, Miyashita, Takeuchi families, Uwatsu-Fumi, Hotsuma-Tsutae are the unapproved documents.

The genuineness of these books have not been established.

In my general opinion, even the "approved" Kojiki, Nihon-Shoki or other "official history books" are written with some purpose, not necessarily genuinely describing the history. Question would be whether a book is written after inherited story telling or is merely an original of the writer.

Thank you, Friends, again, for kindest notes. Please write me again.
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