Aino Folk-Tales by CHAMBERLAIN, Basil Hall

Not for the squeamish or for children, these folk-tales are from the Ainu, the somewhat mysterious indigenous people of Japan, thousands of whom still live in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Ranging over all of the usual themes of folklore, from creation to marriage to war, these stories have a pungent, ribald frankness concerning all aspects of human life that offended their scholarly collector Basil Hall Chamberlain (his apologies to the reader are themselves entertaining) but that make them fresh, provocative, and amusing to the twenty-first century reader. Attention to the Ainu is especially timely because of the revival in Japan of Ainu activism on behalf of indigenous rights, pride, and culture, but are well worth reading for their purely entertainment value.
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