Convener(s): Dr Natalia Doan and Professor Sho Konishi
Speaker(s): Dr. Mai Ishihara, Assistant Professor in the Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies at Hokkaido University
These seminars will occur live and will not be recorded. Unauthorized recording is strictly prohibited.
Please click on the seminar title to register in advance and receive the meeting details.
Red/White/Yellow: Considering the Racial Situation in Japan from the Perspective of Marriage Discrimination Experienced by Ainu Women
Dr. Mai Ishihara is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. She specializes in Cultural Anthropology and Ainu and Indigenous Research.
She is the author of Autoethnography of ‘Silence’: The Story of the Pain of Silent Ainu and Their Care (Sapporo: Hokkaido University Press, Dec. 2020 [in Japanese]).
Japan has an unusual and complicated history of engaging with concepts of race. In the past, many Japanese people asserted the concept of Japan has an unusual and complicated history of engaging with concepts of race. In the past, many Japanese people asserted the concept of Japanese racial superiority and justified colonialism by positioning indigenous people as racially inferior. In Western society, Japanese people have historically been targets of racism, and racist ideologies within Japan persist today and, in many ways, have been made invisible. In this lecture, I would like to discuss the discrimination experienced by Ainu women in marriage, and consider the racial symbols of “red,” “white,” and “yellow” that have infiltrated the history and present of Japanese society.