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Aino Folk-Tales   By: (1850-1935)

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[Transcriber's Note:

The substitution [= ] have been used in this version of the text. When used, it indicates that the vowel it surrounds is a long vowel with a macron (dash) above it.]

AINO FOLK TALES.

BY BASIL HALL CHAMBERLAIN.

WITH INTRODUCTION BY EDWARD B. TYLOR, D.C.L., F.R.S.

Privately Printed FOR THE FOLK LORE SOCIETY. 1888. XXII.

List of Officers of the Society. 1887 1888.

PRESIDENT.

THE RIGHT HON. THE EARL OF STRAFFORD.

VICE PRESIDENTS.

ANDREW LANG, M.A. W. R. S. RALSTON, M.A. EDWARD B. TYLOR, LL.D., F.R.S.

DIRECTOR.

G. L. GOMME, F.S.A., 1, Beverley Villas, Barnes Common, S.W.

COUNCIL.

A. MACHADO Y ALVAREZ. THE EARL BEAUCHAMP, F.S.A. EDWARD BRABROOK, F.S.A. DR. D. G. BRINTON JAMES BRITTEN, F.L.S. LOYS BRUEYRE. MISS C. S. BURNE. EDWARD CLODD. PROFESSOR D. COMPARETTI. G. L. GOMME, F.S.A. A. GRANGER HUTT, F.S.A. SIR JOHN LUBBOCK, Bt., F.R.S. SIR HENRY MAINE, K.C.S.I. REV. DR. RICHARD MORRIS. ALFRED NUTT. EDWARD PEACOCK, F.S.A. Z. D. PEDROSO. PROFESSOR A. H. SAYCE, M.A. CAPTAIN R. C. TEMPLE. HENRY B. WHEATLEY, F.S.A.

AUDITORS.

G. L. APPERSON. JOHN TOLHURST, F.S.A.

LOCAL SECRETARIES.

IRELAND: G. H. KINAHAN, R.I.A. SOUTH SCOTLAND: WILLIAM GEORGE BLACK. NORTH SCOTLAND: REV. WALTER GREGOR. INDIA: CAPTAIN R. C. TEMPLE. CHINA: J. STEWART LOCKHART.

HONORARY SECRETARIES.

A. GRANGER HUTT, F.S.A., 8, Oxford Road, Kilburn, N.W. J. J. FOSTER, 36, Alma Square, St. John's Wood, N.W.

INTRODUCTION.

Twelve hundred years ago a Chinese historian stated that "on the eastern frontier of the land of Japan there is a barrier of great mountains, beyond which is the land of the Hairy Men." These were the Aino, so named from the word in their own language signifying "man." Over most of the country of these rude and helpless indigenes the Japanese have long since spread, only a dwindling remnant of them still inhabiting the island of Yezo. Since the early days when a couple of them were sent as curiosities to the Emperor of China their uncouth looks and habits have made them objects of interest to more civilised nations. Many European writers have described them, but hardly any with such opportunities as Mr. Basil Hall Chamberlain, Professor of Philology at the T[=o]ky[=o] University, who has taken down from the Ainos the present collection of their tales, and prefaced it with an account of their ways and state of mind. It would hardly be for me to offer information on a subject so excellently handled, but the request of the Editor of the Folk Lore Journal that I would write an Introduction enables me to draw attention to the views put forward by Professor Chamberlain in another publication,[A] which, being printed in Japan, may be overlooked by many English folk lore students, even of those interested in the curious Aino problem.

As is well known, the hairiness of the Ainos marks them sharply off from the smooth faced Japanese. No one can look at photographs of Ainos without admitting that the often repeated comparison of them to bearded Russian peasants is much to the purpose. The likeness is much strengthened by the bold quasi European features of the Ainos contrasting extremely with the Japanese type of face. Of course all this has suggested a theory of the Ainos belonging to the Aryan race; and, although the idea comes to nothing when examined strictly, its existence is an acknowledgment of the special Aino race type. Mention must also be made of an anatomical peculiarity of the Aino skeleton, consisting of a remarkable flattening of the arm and leg bones. On the whole it is evident that the Ainos are an ancient race in this part of Asia, and so far isolated that anthropology has not yet the means of settling their physical connection with other Asiatic tribes. Professor Chamberlain's careful examination of the Aino language leads him to a similar result... Continue reading book >>




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