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Ainu spirits singing : the living world of Chiri Yukie's Ainu shinʼ yosh

Author: Sarah Mehlhop Strong; Yukie Chiri
Publisher: Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, ©2011.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English
Summary:
Indigenous peoples throughout the globe are custodians of a unique, priceless, and increasingly imperiled legacy of oral lore. Among them the Ainu, a people native to northeastern Asia, stand out for the exceptional scope and richness of their oral performance traditions. Yet despite this cultural wealth, nothing has appeared in English on the subject in over thirty years. Sarah Strong's Ainu Spirits Singing breaks  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Strong, Sarah Mehlhop, 1947-
Ainu spirits singing.
Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, ©2011
Named Person: Yukie Chiri; Yukie Chiri; Yukie Chiri; Yukie Chiri
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Sarah Mehlhop Strong; Yukie Chiri
ISBN: 9780824860127 0824860128
OCLC Number: 1058815500
Language Note: In English.
Notes: OldControl:muse9780824860127.
Includes English translation of 13 Ainu chants.
Multi-User.
Description: 1 online resource (xvi, 314 pages) : illustrations
Contents: Chiri Yukie and the origins of the Ainu shinʼ yosh --
The living world of the Ainu shinʼ yosh --
The Ainu social landscape --
Weighty animal spirits and important game animals --
Symbolic and ordinary animal spirits --
Chiri Yukie's Ainu shinʼ yosh.
Responsibility: Sarah M. Strong.

Abstract:

Includes English translation of 13 Ainu chants.  Read more...

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Among them the Ainu, a people native to northeastern Asia, stand out for the exceptional scope and richness of their oral performance traditions. Yet despite this cultural wealth, nothing has appeared in English on the subject in over thirty years. Sarah Strong\'s Ainu Spirits Singing breaks this decades-long silence with a nuanced study and English translation of Chiri Yukie\'s Ainu Shin\'yoshu, the first written transcription of Ainu oral narratives by an ethnic Ainu. The thirteen narratives in Chiri\'s collection belong to the genre known as kamui yukar, said to be the most ancient performance form in the vast Ainu repertoire. In it, animals (and sometimes plants or other natural phenomena)--all regarded as spiritual beings (kamui) within the animate Ainu world--assume the role of narrator and tell stories about themselves. The first-person speakers include imposing animals such as the revered orca, the Hokkaido wolf, and Blakiston\'s fish owl, as well as the more zhumbley Hokkaido brown frog, snowshoe hare, and pearl mussel. Each has its own story and own signature refrain. Strong provides readers with an intimate and perceptive view of this extraordinary text. Along with critical contextual information about traditional Ainu society and its cultural assumptions, she brings forward pertinent information on the geography and natural history of the coastal southwestern Hokkaido region where the stories were originally performed. The result is a rich fusion of knowledge that allows the reader to feel at home within the animistic frame of reference of the narratives. Strong\'s study also offers the first extended biography of Chiri Yukie (1903-1922) in English. The story of her life, and her untimely death at age nineteen, makes clear the harsh consequences for Chiri and her fellow Ainu of the Japanese colonization of Hokkaido and the Meiji and Taisho governments\' policies of assimilation. Chiri\'s receipt of the narratives in the Horobetsu dialect from her grandmother and aunt (both traditional performers) and the fact that no native speakers of that dialect survive today make her work all the more significant. 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