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The Ainu are an indigenous ethnic group of northern Japan and Russia (Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, Khabarovsk Krai and the Kamchatka Peninsula). They have their own lifestyle, customs, traditions, and language. As an ethnos, the Ainu can be separated into three distinct groups: Hokkaido Ainu, Karafuto Ainu, and Chishima Ainu.

History[]

The Ainu are the native people of Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and the Kurils. The Ainu have often been considered to descend from the diverse Jōmon people, who lived in northern Japan from the Jōmon period. Early Ainu-speaking groups (mostly hunters and fishermen) migrated also into the Kamchatka Peninsula and into Honshu, where their descendants are today known as the Matagi hunters, which still use a large amount of Ainu vocabulary in their dialect. Other evidence for Ainu-speaking hunters and fishermen migrating down from northern Hokkaido into Honshu is through the Ainu toponyms which are found in several places of northern Honshu, mostly among the western coast and the Tōhoku region. Evidence for Ainu-speakers in the Amur region is found through Ainu loanwords in the Uilta and Ulch people.

Active contact between the Wajin (the ethnically Japanese, also known as Yamatojin) and the Ainu of Ezogashima (now known as Hokkaido) began in the 13th century. The Ainu formed a society of hunter-gatherers, surviving mainly by hunting and fishing. They followed a religion which was based on natural phenomena. The Ainu culture expanded during the period from the 15th to the 18th centuries.

At the beginning of the 15th century, Japan intensified its influence to the south of Hokkaido, first in Esashi and Matsue, and soon after, the Japanese began colonization of the territory of the Ainu people. The Ainu resisted Japanese oppression between, and the disputes between the Japanese and Ainu developed into large-scale violence, Koshamain's War, in 1456.

During the Edo period (1601–1868) the Ainu, who controlled Hokkaido, became increasingly involved in trade with the Japanese. The feudal government granted the Matsumae clan exclusive rights to trade with the Ainu in the northern part of the island. Later, the Matsumae began to lease out trading rights to Japanese merchants, and contact between Japanese and Ainu became more extensive. Throughout this period Ainu groups competed with each other to import goods from the Japanese, and epidemic diseases such as smallpox reduced the population.

Although the increased contact created by the trade between the Japanese and the Ainu contributed to increased mutual understanding, it also led to conflict which occasionally intensified into violent Ainu revolts. The most important was Shakushain's Revolt (1669–1672), an Ainu rebellion against Japanese authority. Another large-scale revolt by Ainu against Japanese rule was the Menashi-Kunashir Rebellion in 1789.

From 1799 to 1806, the shogunate took direct control of southern Hokkaido. Ainu men were deported to merchant subcontractors for five and ten-year terms of service, and were enticed with rewards of food and clothing if they agreed to drop their native language and culture and become Japanese. Ainu women were separated from their husbands and forcibly married to Japanese merchants and fishermen, who were told that a taboo forbade them from bringing their wives to Hokkaido. Women were often tortured if they resisted rape by their new Japanese husbands, and frequently ran away into the mountains. These policies of family separation and forcible assimilation, combined with the impact of smallpox, caused the Ainu population to drop significantly in the early 19th century.

The beginning of the Meiji Restoration in 1868 proved a turning point for Ainu culture. The Japanese government introduced a variety of social, political, and economic reforms in hope of modernizing the country in the Western style. One innovation involved the annexation of Hokkaido. In 1899, the Japanese government passed an act labelling the Ainu as "former aborigines", with the idea they would assimilate—this resulted in the Japanese government taking the land where the Ainu people lived and placing it from then on under Japanese control. Also at this time, the Ainu were granted automatic Japanese citizenship, effectively denying them the status of an indigenous group.

The Ainu people were forced to learn Japanese, required to adopt Japanese names, and ordered to cease religious practices such as animal sacrifice and the custom of tattooing. The 1899 act was replaced in 1997—until then the government had stated there were no ethnic minority groups. It was not until June 6, 2008, that Japan formally recognized the Ainu as an indigenous group.[1]

Characters[]

Asirpa icon.png
Cikapasi icon.png
Enonoka icon.png
Huci icon.png
Asirpa Cikapasi Enonoka Huci
Huci's 13th Sister icon.png
Huci's 13th Sister's Son icon.png
Huci's 15th Sister icon.png
Huci's 2nd Sister's Son icon.png
Huci's 13th Sister Huci's 13th Sister's Son Huci's 15th Sister Huci's 2nd Sister's Son
Huci's Brother icon.png
Huci's Sister icon.png
Ikaripopo icon.png
Inkarmat icon.png
Huci's Brother Huci's Sister Ikaripopo Inkarmat
Ariko icon.png
Irenka icon.png
Kimuspu icon.png
Kirawus icon.png
Ipopte Irenka Kimuspu Kirawus
Kiroranke Icon.png
Makanakkuru icon.png
Mesira icon.png
Monoa icon.png
Kiroranke Makanakkuru Mesira Monoa
Oskeporo icon.png
Osoma icon.png
Ratci icon.png
Riratte icon.png
Oskeporo Osoma Ratci Riratte
Siromakur icon.png
Sukuta icon.png
Wilk icon.png
Yooyanke icon.png
Siromakur Sukuta Wilk Yooyanke

Culture[]

Kotan[]

The Ainu lived in small settlements of a few or dozens cise (households) often located by a large river or estuary. Lead by their village chief, the kotan residents lived in a well-ordered society.

Tattoos[]

Ainu women would start receiving their traditional mouth tattoos at the age of 12 years old. The size of the tattoo signified the woman's status in her village (so the more important a woman's husband, the bigger the tattoo she could get).

Craft[]

Carving a makiri (short knife) was an important step in the lives of Ainu men. When a man liked a woman, he was supposed to craft a makiri and gift it to the woman. After examining the craftsmanship, the woman would decide how good of a provider the man was.

Beliefs[]

Kamuy[]

The Ainu people believie that everything in nature has a kamuy (spirit or god) on the inside. Everything that is useful or is beyond one's control is revered as kamuy: fire, water, earth, trees, animals, natural phenomena, even clothes and tableware. It's important to maintain a good relationship with kamuy by performing ceremonies and expressing gratitude for the things they send to humans from the Land of the Gods. Being hunters, the Ainu hold animal kamuy in high regard. It's believed that while in the Lang of the Gods, the kamuy take the form of humans and are only clad in animal skin and flesh when they come to our world to play.

The bear kamuy, Kimun Kamuy, is especially important. To raise a bear cub is considered an act of great prestige. The Ainu raise the cub for one or two years inside a cage (heperset) and, when the time comes, gather for the ceremony of Iomante to send off the bear back to the Land of the Gods. The ceremony includes singing, dancing, and preparing lots of food to send the bear's spirit carrying many gifts to show the gods that human world is a wonderful place. It's done in order for the gods to come back on earth again and again.

Bears that eat humans are seen as evil gods, Wen Kamuy. After death, Wen Kamuy go to a hell called teine pokna mosir.

Rivers are considered sacred for the Ainu people: they never wash clothes in the river or wash away excrements in the water. It's believed that panning for gold and polluting the river caused the wrath of Wakkaus Kamuy, god of the water. The gold itself is thought to be cursed and possessed by an evil spirit.

Children's Names[]

There's a custom of trying to protect babies from the spirits that bring disease by giving them disgusting names, like Si taktak ("clamp of feces") or Ekasiotonpuy ("grandfather's butthole"). When a child is six years old and already has their personality formed, they give them a name based on what the child has done in their lives.

Guardian Spirit[]

Turenpe is a guardian spirit that is born with the person they're protecting. The Ainu believe that turenpe come in and out through the back of one's neck. Turenpe can be spirits of fire, water, thunder, even wolves or bears. It's turenpe that cause people's personalities to differ; they also control people's fate. When receiving something as a gift, one must share it with their guardian spirit. Some Ainu claim to be able to see turenpe.

Hunting[]

As hunters, the Ainu have developed their own techniques and strategies to hunt their prey. The Ainu use poisoned arrows and spears to hunt bears, deer, otter, and other animals. Hunters mix different poisons to make their poison arrows stronger. Each family has their secret method that was passed down through generations. Some poison mixtures include aconite root, red stingray spine, etc.

Trapping is another important strategy in hunting. By leaving snares and funneling the animal towards the trap, it's possible to catch squirrels and hares.

When hunting a bear, Ainu hunters usually avoid aiming at its skull; instead, they aim for the heart. Some hunters secure a sharpened stake to the ground and use the weight of the falling bear to pierce it through the heart.

To kill a bear that is sleeping in its den, hunters fence up the entrance to it with stakes and then shoot the bear with an arrow. However, some men were brave enough to get inside a bear's den and kill the bear with a poison arrow in hands.

While leaving on hunting trips, the Ainu would sleep in temporary huts called kuca. The floors and cone-shaped roofs of the huts are made from branches of Sakhalin Fir or other evergreen tress. Up to 4 adults would fit inside a kuca.

Cuisine[]

Citatap[]

Citatap is a dish where one uses a knife to mince raw meat. Making citatap allows eating even the toughest parts of the animal like bones. It's only possible to make citatap out of fresh meat. For preparing citatap, one must use a very hard, odorless wood such as oak, cut from the cross-section of the tree. The Ainu use a special cutting board for citatap, called itatani.

Ohaw[]

Ohaw is a soup made from meat. Much like while cooking citatap, the meat is minced and then turned into dumplings. Dried soft windflower can be added to enhance the taste.

Kinaohaw[]

Kinaohaw is a soup primarily made from vegetables, but meat and fish (like sculpins) can be added to the broth.

Language[]

The Ainu People have their own language, and there are numerous words and terms that have been spoken throughout the entirety of the series, all of which will be listed below.

Hokkaido Ainu[]

Word Ainu Meaning Reference
Aca アチャ Father, daddy; uncle Chapter 14
Acapo アチャポ Uncle
Amappo アマッポ Arrow trap Chapter 13
Asinru アシンル Male toilet Ch. 126
Atusa Nupuri アトゥサ ヌプリ Naked Mountain Chapter 119
Atuy kor ekasi アトゥィ コㇿ エカシ Sea turtles; meaning "old man that rules the sea" Chapter 114
Ay アイ Arrow Chapter 3
Bokke Hot, boiling Ch. 120
Cepker Winter boots made from salmon skin Ch. 127
Cikapset チカㇷ゚セッ Birdhouse Chapter 119
Cikap ur Birdskin clothing Ch. 151
Cikisani Straw-shaped tree root Ch. 204
Cinoyetet チノイェタッ Rolled birch bark used as a torch Chapter 17
Cinru チンル Snowshoes for use on crusty snow Chapter 3
Cipopsayo Gruel made from cooked rice or millet with salmon roe added Ch. 127
Cippo Ainu needle case Ch. 160
Cipor チポロ Salmon roe Chapter 91
Cipor ninap Tool that is used to crush salmon roe Ch. 91
Ciporrataskep Potatoes boiled with salt mashed up and mixed with salmon roe Ch. 127
Ciptacikap チㇷ゚タチカㇷ゚ Black woodpeckers, literally "boat carving bird" Chapter 109
Cise チセ House, home Chapter 1
Cise sirosi Home marking that is left behind by bears Ch. 125
Citatap チタタプ Ainu dish made by mincing meat with a knife. Literally, ci (we) tata (mince) p (it). Chapter 5
Ciw チゥ
  • To penetrate; to stab, to pierce
  • Tide; current; wave, ripple
Chapter 116
Cukcep Salmon, literally "autumn fish" Ch. 125
Eaykap エアイカプ Ability Chapter 12
Ecinke エチンケ Sea turtle Chapter 114
Ekasi エカシ Grandfather; old man Chapter 11
Ekimne kuwa エキㇺネクワ Walking stick Chapter 3
Emus エムㇱ Man's sword that is used for ceremonies Chapter 125
Ermu エルム Mouse Chapter 101
Esaman エサマン River otter Chapter 14
Etaspe エタㇱペ Sea lion Chapter 147
Etopirika Tufted puffin; also called Etupirika Ch. 151
Etu エトゥ Beak Chapter 151
Hapo ハポ Mother Chapter 254
Haruikkew Giant lilies, literally "the backbone of our diet" Ch. 92
Hat ハッ Crimson glory grapevine Ch. 125
Hay Ouch Ch. 114
Heperesinotpe ヘペレエシノッペ Toy for bear cubs Chapter 13
Heperoypep Tool that is used to feed bear cubs
Heperset ヘペレセッ Cage used to keep bear cubs in Chapter 12
Hinna ヒンナ Expression for showing one's appreciation for food Chapter 5
Hinna, hinna ヒンナヒンナ Same as hinna Chapter 5
Hoku ホク Husband Chapter 12
Hoparata Flapping the sleeves during a crane dance Ch. 108
Horkew Kamuy ホㇿケウカムイ Howling God Chapter 11
Hoynu ホィヌ Marten Chapter 159
Huci フチ Grandmother Chapter 11
Hupca フㇷ゚チャ Needles of Sakhalin fir Chapter 22
Huraruykina Alpine leek, literally "strong smelling grass" Ch. 73
Hure ecinke フレ エチンケ Loggerhead sea turtle Chapter 114
Huuratekki フウラテッキ Raised stinky Chapter 12
Icaniw イチャニウ Masu salmon Chapter 73
Ihuminu Psychic sense Ch. 95
Ikayop イカヨㇷ゚ Quiver Chapter 3
Inaw イナウ Wooden ritual sticks Chapter 109
Iomante イオマンテ Ceremony to send off bears that have been raised in cages Chapter 12
Ipapkeni イパㇷ゚ケニ Deer whistle Chapter 15
Isapakikni Club used to hit fish on the head to kill them Ch. 125
Isepo イセポ Hare; "small creatures that cry 'iii'" Chapter 8
Itatani イタタニ Cutting board used for meat Chapter 10
Itese イテセ To knit Chapter 12
Iteseni イテセニ Stand for weaving mats Chapter 12
Iutani イウタ Pestle Chapter 91
Kamuy カムィ God Chapter 12
Kamuy Hopinire Ceremony to send off adult brown bears killed on hunts; literally, "The god's departure" Ch. 113
Kamuy Mintar Daisetsuzan, means "place where there are a lot of brown bears" Ch. 101
Kamuy Mosir カムィモシㇼ Land of the Gods; heaven Chapter 12
Kamuy Nomi カムィノミ To pray to the gods Chapter 109
Kamuy Renkayne カムィ レンカイネ Thanks to the gods Chapter 161
Kamuycep カムイチェプ Salmon, literally "fish of the gods" Chapter 125
Karimpaunku カリンパウンク Bow wrapped in cherry tree bark Chapter 3
Karkani Fire striker Ch. 204
Karop Container for fire-starting tools Ch. 204
Karpas Mushroom that has been turned into charcoal Ch. 204
Karpas sintoko Container for charcoal used to light a fire Ch. 204
Karsuma Stone used to start fires Ch. 204
Kasinat Trap for waterbirds Ch. 108
Kemeiki ケメイキ To sew Chapter 12
Kemonuytosayep Ainu spool with attached needle case Ch. 115
Kimun Kamuy キムンカムィ Bear God Chapter 12
Kinaohaw キナオハウ Soup made with many vegetables Chapter 13
Kisarri キサラリ Children's toy, "long-eared monster" Chapter 14
Kite Harpoon Ch. 114
Konkon Etaspe Large sea lion Ch. 147
Korkoni コㇿコニ Butterbur leaves Chapter 73
Kotan コタン Village Chapter 11
Kuca クチャ Temporary hut Chapter 5
Kunne ecinke クンネ エチンケ Green sea turtle Chapter 114
Kusu クス Because, in order to Chapter 11
Kutci クッチ Fruit of the hardy kiwi Chapter 125
Kutuma Dango that is "tube cooked" Ch. 91
Kutura sisam ohaw or si omare wa e クトゥラ シサㇺ オハウ オㇿ シ オマレ ワ エ "The man I was with puts poop in his soup and eats it" Chapter 9
Kuwaecarase クワエチャㇻセ Technique of sliding down a slope using a hiking stick made from the hardy, tough woof of the Japanese alder Chapter 23
Kuyoy クヨイ Water bag from deer's bladder Chapter 22
Makayo Butterbur shoots Ch. 73
Makanit マカニッ Arrow footings Chapter 22
Makiri マキリ Short knife Chapter 4
Marek Harpoon with a hook on the end Ch. 125
Matakarip マタカリピ Bears that have missed their hibernation period and thus are very aggressive; literally "those that move in winter" Chapter 1
Matkaci マツカチ Girl Chapter 12
Matnepa Women's season Ch. 73
Mawtacup "The month when we harvest beach roses" Ch. 115
Menaspa East wind Ch. 254
Menas Hoku Kor "Make the East wind their husband" Ch. 254
Menoko メノコ Woman Chapter 12
Menokomakiri メノコマキリ Short knife for women Chapter 3
Menokoru Female toilet Ch. 95
Monrayke モンライケ Work Chapter 12
Mukkuri ムックリ Traditional Ainu musical instrument Chapter 11
Munciro Foxtail millet Ch. 125
Ninketeyep Tool used to hold a bear's gall bladder so that it can be dried out
Nipus hum ニプㇱ フㇺ Sound of trees splitting: a phenomena where a sudden drop in temperature causes the sap in the trees to freeze and the trunk to split open Chapter 6
Nisew Acorns Ch. 125
Nispa ニㇱパ Honorific title for a man, Mr.; master, owner; wealthy person; gentleman Chapter 11
Nisu ニス Mortar Chapter 91
Noya ノヤ Mugwort Chapter 104
Nusasan ヌササン Altar Chapter 11
O Genitals Ch. 116
Ociw Two people having sex Ch. 116
Ohaw オハウ Soup Chapter 5
Okkayoru Male toilet Ch. 95
Onne sipesipetki Migratory locusts Ch. 114
Onturep akam Discs made from fermented giant lilies Ch. 91
Opkehur オㇷ゚ケクㇽ Farter Chapter 12
Osoma オソマ Feces, poop Chapter 8
Otonpuy オトンプイ Anus Chapter 12
Pawci casi Place where Pawci Kamuy lives Ch. 100
Pawci Kamuy God of lust who is said to be cruel Ch. 100
Pekanpe Fruits of water caltrops; literally "the thing which sits on the water" Ch. 118
Pinneraw Young male deer Ch. 108
Pipa ピパ Tool made from the sharpened shell of a pearl mussel used to rip off earheads Chapter 125
Pirka ピㇼカ Beautiful; good Ch. 151
Pirka menoko ピㇼカメノコ Beautiful woman
Pise ピセ Container made from stomach of a bear; used to store water or animal oils Chapter 18
Piyapa Japanese millet Ch. 125
Pu Food storehouse Chapter 11
Pukusa プクサ Alpine leek Chapter 8
Pukusakina プクサキナ Soft windflower Chapter 5
Puyapuya Brook lamprey
Ratcako ラッチャコ Light stand Chapter 14
Raomap ラウォマプ Trap for catching river fish Chapter 13
Raykur Siyuk Ainu burial clothes Ch. 102
Retannoya Ezo sneezeworts Ch. 100
Retar レタㇻ White Chapter 14
Rikosinot リコシノッ Tossing up; a kind of bear attack where the bear tosses its prey up in the air Chapter 10
Sak Somo Ayep サㇰ ソモ アイェプ Name of a snake; means "that which is not spoken of in summer" Chapter 104
Saranip サラニㇷ゚ Knapsack Chapter 3
Sarorun Kamuy God of the wetlands Ch. 108
Sarorunrimse Crane dance that is passed down in Kushiro Ch. 108
Seypirakka Children's toy; literally "shell clogs" Ch. 70
Setur sesekka セトゥㇽ セセッカ Warming one's back Chapter 23
Sinna kisar シンナ キサㇻ Strange ears Chapter 12
Sintoko Lacquerware containers used to store food or alcohol Ch. 125
Sinuye シヌイェ Tattooing Chapter 12
Sipe Referring to salmon which is the staple food of the Ainu people; means "the real food" Ch. 127
Sisam シサㇺ Non-Ainu Japanese people Chapter 2
Si taktak シ タㇰタㇰ Clamp of feces Chapter 12
Sitat シタッ Bark from white birch trees Chapter 2
Situnpe Kamuy Benevolent gods Ch. 148
Sutu ストゥ Punishment Rod Chapter 13
Sutuker Footwear woven from grapevines
Suwasi False spirea; means "a bitter shrub" Ch. 164
Tamasay タマサィ Necklace that is worn by women; "tama" for short Chapter 125
Tanepo タネポ Now Chapter 11
Tasiro タシロ Hunting knife Chapter 3
Teine Pokna Mosir テイネポㇰナモシㇼ Hell in Ainu mythology Chapter 2
Tekunpe Ainu hand cover
Tetarape Ainu clothing Ch. 181
Tokap Breasts Ch. 92
Tonoto トノト Traditional alcoholic drink in Ainu culture Chapter 113
Toprap kitay cise House thatched with bamboo grass leaves Ch. 95
Torar Long, durable leather straps made from sea lion skins Ch. 148
Turenpe トゥレンペ Guardian spirit Chapter 13
Turep トゥレプ Giant lilies Chapter 91
Tureptacir Woodcock; means "the bird that digs up giant lilies"
Tureptani Ainu tool that resembles the beaks of woodcocks used to dig out the roots of giant lilies
Uko Karip Ciwe ウコ カリㇷ゚ チュイ Ring catch, a children's game Chapter 14
Ukocanupkor To have sexual intercourse Ch. 109
Ukuripe Lamprey
Unarpe ウナルペ Aunt Chapter 254
Uweinkar Clairvoyance Ch. 95
Uwepeker Folk tales Ch. 111
Uworamkotte "Joined hearts with each other" Ch. 254
Wakkakep Tool used to bail out the water that collects in the bottom of a boat Ch. 114
Wakkaus Kamuy ワッカウシカムイ God of the water Chapter 13
Wen Kamuy ウェンカムイ Evil god Chapter 2
Yachi manako Swamp eye Ch. 112
Yarcip Ainu bark canoe Ch. 93
Yuk ユㇰ Deer Chapter 22
Yukker ユㇰケㇾ Deerskin boots Chapter 3

Karafuto Ainu[]

Word Ainu Meaning Reference
Cepker Boots made from salmon skin Ch. 142
Henke Grandpa Ch. 141
Hohciri Ainu ornament that young boys wear until they turn ten years of age Ch. 151
Isohseta The dog that is at the front of dog sleds and leads the other dogs Ch. 142
Kawre Poles that are used to steer the dog sled Ch. 142
Kuciri Wolverine Ch. 147
Meekot メエコッ To freeze to death; "something that can die in the cold" Chapter 169
Meko メコ Cat Chapter 169
Meko Oyasi メコオヤシ Cat monster Chapter 169
Nuso Sled Ch. 141
Nusoh sutoo Skis used by the person riding the sled Ch. 142
Onaha オナハ Father Chapter 151
Opokay Musk deer Ch. 151
Paase Heavy Ch. 141
Pera Stop Ch,. 142
Puu Food storage building Ch. 169
Seta rus セタ ルㇱ Dog pelt Chapter 142
Setakiraw セタキラゥ A headdress that is worn only by the lead dog Chapter 142
Setakuma Hitching post for dogs Ch. 141
Saha cise Summer home Ch. 141
Sikeni Body of the sled Ch. 142
Toh To mush (dog sledding) Ch. 141
Toi cise Winter home Ch. 141

Tools[]

In this section there is information missing. Please help improving the Golden Kamuy Wikia by filling the gaps.
  • Amappo: an arrow trap that is used to hunt bear, deer, and otter.
  • An
  • Heperesinotpe: a toy for bear cubs.
  • Heperset: a cage that is used to keep bear cubs in.
  • Ipapkeni
  • Itatani: cutting board for meat.
  • Iteseni
  • Kapacirap
  • Kisarri
  • Klaa
  • Kuyoy
  • Makiri
  • Manakanit
  • Menokoita
  • Mukkur
  • Pise
  • Raomap: a trap for catching river fish.
  • Ratcako
  • Sutu
  • The Poison Arrow

Clothes[]

References[]

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