- 国際日本学 = INTERNATIONAL JAPANESE STUDIES (ISSN:18838596)
- vol.18, pp.186(1)-168(19), 2021-02-26
Completed in 1356, the “Suwa Daimyōjin Ekotoba” is an important historical source of the medieval history of the Ainu. In this book, the Ainu were referred to by the word ʻEzoʼ. There were three groups in ʻEzoʼ : Hinomoto, Karako, and Wataritō. Among them, the ʻKarakoʼ people have been regarded as a group that lived on the west coast of northern Hokkaido. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Mongol Empire and the Yuan Dynasty invaded Sakhalin Island. In medieval Japanese, the group name ʻKarakoʼ can be translated as ʻthe children in Chinese attire and hairstyleʼ. The meaning can be explained by the relationship between northern Hokkaido and China.According to the records of Jesuit missionaries in the early 17th century, the place called Teshio on the west coast of northern Hokkaido was a trading hub with Sakhalin Island. And one example of Okhotsk type pottery made in the southern part of Sakhalin Island was found in ruins, dated to be after the 10th century, in Nayoro city in the inland area of northern Hokkaido. It is estimated that this Okhotsk type pottery was carried to Nayoro city via the Teshio River. At the mouth of the Teshio River, there is a large archaeological site of Satsumon culture. Thus, the mouth of the Teshio River was likely a hub for trade with Sakhalin Island from the 11th to the 17th centuries. The newly found evidence indicates the name ʻKarakoʼ originated from the close relationship between Teshio and Sakhalin Island.