Hokkaido: A History of Ethnic Transition and Development on Japan's Northern Island

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McFarland, Oct 21, 2009 - History - 378 pages
Japanese people have lived on the country's other three main islands--Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku--for many centuries, but ethnic Japanese, or Wajin, began coming to Hokkaido in large numbers only in the latter half of the nineteenth century. This book tells the story of Japan's aboriginal people, the Ainu, followed by that of foreign explorers and ethnic Japanese pioneers. The book pays close attention to the Japanese-Russian conflicts over the island, including Cold War confrontations and more recent clashes over fishing rights and the Hokkaido-administered islands seized by the U.S.S.R. in 1945.

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I was checking and trying to expand details for my approximately 350 photos taken in Northern Japan, mainly Hokkaido in 1964 and 1965. Photos in those days often did not have date associated with them, and I had not recorded the relevant months.
I thought that I could date some events by approximate month for example by knowing when they plant out the rice in Hokkaido. I have not found the rough answer to that question, but I have found a very readable book about Hokkaido both in history, that I did not know, and more recently than when I was there. Reading the full book might well enable more accurate guesses for the season at the time.
I will certainly recommend this book to people who would like to know about the culture and context of Hokkaido. From my previous knowledge it appears to be very authentic, and it is pleasingly easy and enjoyable to read.
Well done Ann.


Becoming Hokkaido
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3
Chapter Notes

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About the author (2009)

A retired teacher, Ann B. Irish has taught in Japan, Laos, and the United States. She lives on Vashon Island in Washington State.

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