- 北海道大学総合博物館研究報告 (ISSN:1348169X)
- vol.4, pp.133-138, 2008-03-31
No historical documentation recording or implying the existence of the Iomante ceremony by the Ainu people who were living in the northern most part of Honshu Island (Tohoku district) has even been found. The only source which contains rich descriptions about the Honshu Ainu people, especially the Tsugaru Ainu, is the Hirosaki Domain Chronicles (1661–1868). However, although these chronicles are filled with records of Ainu rules and organizations, it lacks the necessary descriptions of production and daily living of the Ainu, recording only unusual incidences such as accidents and rescues. It is clear, though, through analysis of the Hirosaki Domain Chronicles, that bear cub rearing which was indispensable for the Iomante Ceremony was common among the Hoshu Ainu. Furthermore, the hunting culture of the Tsugaru Ainu during the first half of the 18th century was very similar to that of the Hokkaido Ezo Ainu during the last half of 18th century. This proves that the Ainu on either side of the Tsugaru Strait shared common hunting, ethic, and religious cultures. For further investigation on what the cultures were like and how they paralleled with the Ezo cultures, it will be necessary to do traditional research of various travel diaries and also to analyze historic documents from retroactive and folkloristic points of view, incorporating the results in the research of material culture.