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Ainu in Japan

Ainu

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
15,000 Japanese Ethnic Religions 20.00 % 1.00 %   

Ainu in Japan

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Introduction / History
The Ainu people lived in the northern regions of Japan and in parts of Russia. They were a fair-skinned blue-eyed people. Most say that the closest Ainu relatives are from Tibet or the Andaman Islands off of India, although testing has shown that they could have descended from several other groups as well. The Ainu speak their own language, Ainu. It is known as a language isolate, having no known relationship with any other languages. It is a language unique to the Ainu culture and people.

The Ainu's first contact with the Japanese was around the 13th century. Between the 1600s and 1800s the Ainu traded with the Japanese. They increasingly became dependent upon the Japanese and this led to several Ainu revolts. The Japanese also brought disease into the Ainu people.

During the Meiji Restoration the area where the Ainu lived (Hokkaido) was annexed. Land was taken from the Ainu. The Ainu were labeled "former Aborigines." The result was the loss of their autonomy and indigenous standing. The assimilation into Japanese culture had begun. The Ainu people were not officially recognized or restated until June 6, 2008.

What are their lives like?
The Ainu were originally fishermen and hunters. The Ainu lived off of bear, fox, wolf, fish, vegetables, herbs, and roots. The men ate with chopsticks and the women ate with wooden spoons. Their homes were huts located beside water. Each Ainu "village" consisted of 4-10 families. The average age of marriage was 17-18 for men and 15-16 for women. When children were born they were not given names until around 2-3 years old.

What are their beliefs?
The word Ainu means, "Nature." The word "Kamuy" is used for everyday things and also things beyond their control. These gods include animals, household objects, and nature. The hierarchy of the religion consisted of grandmother earth (fire), mountain animals, sea animals, and finally everything else. The bear held a special place in the Ainu religion. Ainu sacrificed animals. Also, tattooing was a part of their custom. Many woman from a young age started tattoos around their mounts. During the Meiji Restoration, they were forced to leave behind animal sacrifices and the art of tattooing.

What are their needs?
The Ainu are often marginalized in Japanese society. It is estimated that there are only 15,000-24,000 Ainu remaining. Their language is also disappearing. It is on the endangered language list. Their greatest need today, besides a Savior, is the preservation of their traditions.

Prayer Points
* Pray that the Ainu language would be preserved and that those who still speak the language would have the opportunity to hear the Gospel.

* Pray that those who still practice the Ainu religion would come to know and worship the one, true God.

* Pray that God would raise up Ainu leaders who would help preserve the traditions and at the same time introduce Christ.

References
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_people
http://goo.gl/3jQg8
http://goo.gl/PFlTZ

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Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-08-02
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-07-28
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-03-04
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Country: Japan
Continent: Asia
Region: Northeast Asia
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Widespread
(Source: Ethnologue 2010)
   
 
Maps
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Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Ainu
People Name General: Ainu
ROP3 Code: 100158
Joshua Project People ID: 10205
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 15,000
Population all Countries: 15,000
Least-Reached: No
   
 
Affinity Bloc: Pacific Islanders
People Cluster: Aborigine
People Name General: Ainu
Ethnic Code: AUG01b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Japanese
Language Code (ISO): jpn    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Ainu (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity20.00 %(Evangelical: 1.00 %)
Ethnic Religions70.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small10.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant10.00 %
Orthodox75.00 %
Other Christian15.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
 
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
   
 
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have only a very small representation among all who claim to be Christians.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1837-1992
New Testament:
1879-1993Audio
Complete Bible: 1883-1987
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
 
 
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsChrist for the Nations
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoFathers Love Letter
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Japanese
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video: View in Japanese
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Biblica Japanese
Text / Printed MatterBible: Colloquial Japanese (1955)
Text / Printed MatterCartoon Gospel tract
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Ainu in Japan

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Aborigine     Northeast Asia    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Ainu Japan    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Ainu in Japan          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Japanese  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=10205&rog3=JA