The Ainu assimilation policies during the Meiji period

Noémi Godefroy, « The Ainu assimilation policies during the Meiji period and the acculturation of Hokkaidô’s indigenous people », Actes du symposium  Linguistic and Cultural Identity in Japan, Centre d’Etudes Japonaises de l’Université de Bucarest.


The main focus of this article is to study the Ainu assimilation policies put in place by the Meiji government, their results and their ensuing consequence, the acculturation of the Ainu people, through a historical and legislative approach. The definition of the concept of acculturation revealed by this study can be summarized as follows “the modification of the culture of a group or individual as a result of contact with a different culture”1. In this case, the “contact” in question is materialized by the will of the newly established Meiji government to stake its territorial claim on Hokkaidô, and by an active pursuit of the assimilation of its indigenous people, the Ainu.






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