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Beyond Ainu StudiesChanging Academic and Public Perspectives$
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Mark J. Hudson, Ann-Elise Lewallen, and Mark K. Watson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836979

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836979.001.0001

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Ainu and Hunter-Gatherer Studies

Ainu and Hunter-Gatherer Studies

(p.117) 8 Ainu and Hunter-Gatherer Studies
Beyond Ainu Studies

Mark J. Hudson

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter suggests that revisiting the Ainu people's subsistence practice would illuminate one's knowledge of human foraging on a global scale. While historical models that positioned Ainu as moving from primitive to civilized gained traction in Japan, ecological models such as Watanabe Hitoshi's “Ainu ecosystem” garnered interest in academic and popular writing outside, if not inside, Japan. Recent writing on relationships between traditional ecological knowledge and climate change has begun to elaborate a narrative of Ainu as having lived in harmony with nature. But imagined stereotypes that exaggerate Indigenous peoples' eco-sensibilities can inflict as much damage as critiques that Native peoples “exploited nature” and caused resource depletion.

Keywords:   Ainu people, subsistence, human foraging, ecological models, Watanabe Hitoshi, Indigenous peoples, that Native peoples

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