Ainu - Minority in Japan

HomeA minority in japan

画像 アイヌは日本の中の少数民族

Ainu is a tribe whose way of living is to hunt and trade. They lived mainly in Hokkaido, but went from Sakhalin or northern islands to Aomori. Bears, trees or natures were considered as gods, worshiped, and important parts of life for Ainu people. Designs made by this Ainu people are called Ainu motifs. Some looks eddy as if trying to take in something and others are peaked as if trying to refuse everything. I will explain meanings of these characteristic designs, music or history.

■ Ainu motifs

Ainu motifs are really unique, or maybe exotic. They are like turning on some kind of switches in our hearts. Shaped intricately but regularly based on traditional roles, they look like prickles, spirals or entwisted plants which can be said workings of lives. Actually the motifs do came from them. The impession we get and images ancient people tried to express can be considered the same.

There are only three bases for the designs. prickles are called Moreu, spirals are Aiusi, and eyes are Sik. Then, let's see what they deeply mean.

Meanings of each motif

Moreu consists of two words, Mo and Reu. Mo means slowly and Reu means to turn. This motif symbolizes strength or power so people should find them in the middle of this design.

Two words Ay and Usi are included in this word. The former means arrow, the latter means to stab. These are symbol of prickles such as fields or brambles. This motif is expected to be a talisman by connoting thorns inside.

Sik(or Siki)
This word means eyes, yet the motif looks like stars. So this design means to watch affectionately like a star.


a sticker:

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  • アイヌの音楽