Ainu, Okinawa and Indigeneity Series

Building on from the important and hugely successful Hokkaidō 150: Settler Colonialism and Indigeneity in Modern Japan and Beyond organized in March 2019, this series examines histories of colonialism and its impacts on Indigenous peoples. Shortly over a month after our Hokkaidō 150 event, the Japanese Diet on April 19, 2019 approved a bill to officially recognize the Ainu as Indigenous to Japan and to promote and protect Ainu culture. But, has anything changed since then? Uchinānchu/Okinawan people continue to face different types of challenges and struggles as they are not officially recognized as “Indigenous” or even as “a minority group.” While Ainu and Uchinānchu people are distinct groups, and “Indigeneity” is an identity embraced by some and not others, we are keen to continue exploring issues facing these people as we renew our mutual commitment to justice, truth, and reconciliation.

Participation is free, but registration is required (links below).
Where: Zoom (download the app here)

Tuesday, February 23, 5-6pm PST
An Introduction to Upopoy, a “Symbolic Space for Ethnic Harmony”
Dr. Kitahara Jirota mokottunas, Hokkaido University
[Available until April 15] Lecture recording in Japanese (with English closed captions)


Monday, March 15, 12-1pm PST
Ainu: 150 years of resilience
Dr. Kanako Uzawa, Independent scholar and performer
Lecture recording (with English closed captions)


Monday, March 29, 5-6 pm PST
Re-thinking Okinawan Indigeneity: Articulation and Activism
Dr. Megumi Chibana, Kanagawa University
[Available until April 30] Lecture recording (with English closed captions)

Co-organizers and conveners: 

Dr. Fuyubi Nakamura, Museum of Anthropology, Anthropology and Asian Studies
Dr. Ayaka Yoshimizu, Asian Studies

With support from:
Dr. Joshua S. Mostow, CJR and Asian Studies
Dr. Christina Laffin, Asian Studies

Supported by the Japan Foundation, Toronto Office