Introduction to Yukar and Ainu Writers
orig: 98/09/07
[Yukar] is a collective name for Ainu's tales. There are three kinds to count. One is called [Kamuy Yukar] in which many different objects, often animals or nature Kamuy, are considered a human and he/she? tells a story about itself. The second is called [Oyna] that tells about human's ancestor Kamuy. The third is something like [Man's Yukar] that is a tale of heroes. The last category may often be simply called [Yukar].

KANNARI Matsu (1875-1961) recorded 92 various Yukars in 15,000 pages in 70+ notebooks. (As printed and published with translation and notes by KINDAICHI Kyosuke from Sansei-do, it consists of 7 volumes.) She employed the English alphabet in recording Ainu language. She was a Christian. She wrote and wrote these between 1928 and 1944. She recorded the Ainu tales from memory.

There are other Yukar or Ainu story compilations that were recorded by Japanese. KANNARI Matsu's Yukar has its own merit in that it was written by an Ainu person.

For the unrivaling work, Japanese government presented medals and pension.

Her younger sister, Nami, married to an Ainu, CHIRI Takayoshi, to have CHIRI brothers. They are, Yukie (f.), Takao (m) and Mashiho (m.).

CHIRI Yukie (1903-1922) died at 20 years of age, left 14 animal Yukar stories.
CHIRI Takao(1907-1965)wrote Ainu - Janapanese cum J - A dictionary.
CHIRI Mashio(1909-1961)graduated Tokyo Imperial University and left many Ainu language related books. To mention a few, [Ainu Grammar], [Introductory Ainu] and [Small Dictionary for Ainu Place Names].


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