Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiv

I was introduced to the life of the Ainu writer Chiri Yukie (1903–1922) and to her collection of Ainu chants of spiritual beings, the Ainu shin’yōshū, rather abruptly on an occasion that I remember well and in a manner that made these topics deeply intriguing to me. Professor Andō Toshihiko, a specialist in environmental education, had kindly agreed to give a guest ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

Over the ten years that I have worked on this project I have been generously helped by many people and institutions. In Noboribetsu special thanks are due to Chiri Yukie’s niece, Ms. Yokoyama Mutsumi, of the Chiri Shinsha, and her husband, the artist Mr. Yokoyama Takao, who have unfailingly greeted my visits with a smile and given invaluable assistance ...

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Chapter 1: Chiri Yukie and the Origins of the Ainu Shin’yōshū

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pp. 1-44

On a page of a small, paperbound notebook, now fragile with age and carefully preserved in the home of Yokoyama Mutsumi in Noboribetsu, Japan, there are a set of phrases—not sentences, but pieces of sentence— written in a quick, cursive Japanese hand. A glance at the text suggests that the phrases are fragments of the writer’s private thoughts, never intended ...

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Chapter 2: The Living World of the Ainu Shin’yōshū

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pp. 45-80

The thirteen kamui yukar chants recorded in written form in the Ainu shin’yōshū were each iterations of oral traditions that had been passed on in the Horobetsu dialect in what Yukie dreamed of as an unending river of song flowing to her generation from a long-distant past. In many ways these chants belong to the Noboribetsu area, its landscape, animals, and ...

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Chapter 3: The Ainu Social Landscape

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pp. 81-103

As a culture based primarily on hunting, fishing, and gathering, the traditional Ainu of Horobetsu, as we have seen, lived in intimate relationship with the natural world (including its spiritual dimensions). Not surprisingly, their social structures reflect this close engagement. In traditional society, norms for social interaction involved both human-human ...

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Chapter 4: Weighty Animal Spirits and Important Game Animals

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pp. 105-138

This and the following chapter look closely at each of the thirteen kamui yukar of the Ainu shin’yōshū and at the animal spirits whose story is told in them. As a matter of convenience, the kamui yukar are referred to by the English word “chant” and numbered in the order in which they appear in the volume edited and translated by Chiri Yukie. In eleven of ...

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Chapter 5: Symbolic and Ordinary Animal Spirits

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pp. 139-192

In this chapter I examine the remaining two categories of animal kamui in the Ainu shin’yōshū, those I have called symbolic and those that the Ainu call light or ordinary animal spirits. As in chapter 4, for each section I first discuss the pertinent animals in both their somatic and spiritual dimensions before moving on to an examination of key features of each ...

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Chapter 6: Chiri Yukie’s Ainu Shin’yōshū

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pp. 193-248

These translations are based on the facsimile edition of the 1926 version of the Ainu shin’yōshū (Collection of Ainu chants of spiritual beings) (Chiri Y. 1976). In that edition Chiri Yukie gives the Ainu text and her Japanese translation on facing pages. Each line of the Ainu text includes, on average, three phrases of the sung chant. In the transliterated Ainu ...

Notes

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pp. 249-288

Works Cited

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pp. 289-300

Index

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pp. 301-314