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Rethinking ethnographic records of Seiichi Izumi with emphasis on Saru River research

Research period:2019.10-2023.3

ŌNISHI Hideyuki


Ainu studies , cultural landscape , Iwor restoration projects 


This research project will attempt to rethink the image of Ainu society presented by Seiichi Izumi in the National Museum of Ethnology’s “Seiichi Izumi Archives.” Specifically, by re-reading basic data with an emphasis on ethnographic records from the Saru River basin that led Seiichi Izumi to develop his model of Ainu society, including the concept of “iwor” in light of contemporary research results, its social significance, and so on, we will investigate the possibility of using it in new ways academically and socially.
In accordance with this objective, we will investigate the possibilities of new assessments and interpretations beyond simple criticism of politics and policies and verification of historical facts by reexamining Seiichi Izumi’s ethnographic records and data from various angles taking into account: 1) previous research results related to Ainu studies in cultural and social anthropology, history, archaeology, and other fields and 2) results of policies and initiatives to revive Ainu culture. Furthermore, we will consider the contribution and role that Seiichi Izumi’s ethnographic records can play in passing on and promoting Ainu culture, such as projects to “Revival of Ainu traditional life style”, which are now promoted in various places in Hokkaido including Biratori Town.