Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ainu Claim their Indigenous Rights, Return of the Remains ~A social action to protest against Tokyo University

Two members of Ainu ethnic minority and several other Japanese supporters got together in front of Tokyo University on Oct. 18th and demanded that the university return sets of 198 Ainu ancestral bones to kotan (village) in northern island of Hokkaido.
 Since Tokyo University was founded in 1877 and re-organized as the Imperial University in 1886, it reigned over academic institutions throughout Japan during the imperialist and colonialization regime.
The colonized people were regarded as barbaric and an inferior race. Scholars, incorporated with the government and the military, imposed the study of ideology and theory to justify social evolution (Darwinism), eugenics based on sanguinity and also emperor-centered historiography to portray Japan as a divine country to succeed the imperial family. The indigenous Ainu people were considered as extinct on the same principle that the strong always win or the survival of the fittest. This is how the discriminative researches and surveys such as illegal excavations and carrying away their remains out of tombs mostly without any consent of Ainu were carried out in the name of academic investigations.(NISHINAKA Seiichiro)


10 月18日の昼、「東大はアイヌ民族の遺骨198体をアイヌ民族のコタン(集落)に返還せよ!」という要求を掲げ、文京区本郷の東京大学「赤門前」に、2人 のアイヌ民族と日本人支援者7、8人が集まった。東京大学は1877年に設立、1886年に「帝国大学」として改編されて以来、敗戦まで帝国植民地時代の 日本の学府の頂点に君臨し続けた。植民地支配した民族を「野蛮な劣等民族」とし、社会進化論(ダーヴィニズム)や血統主義に基づく「優生思想」、万世一系 の皇国史観などを正当化するための思想•理論研究を、政府や軍と一体になって推し進めてきた。先住民族のアイヌ民族も、「優勝劣敗」「適者生存の原理」か ら「絶滅人種」とされ、人種差別的な調査•研究が行われてきた。(西中誠一郎)

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