si.jpg


Shumshu Island

Ainu people (Wikipedia)

Northern Kuril Ainu (no known living population in Japan, existence not recognized by Russian government in Kamchatka Krai) – Also known as Kurile in Russian records. Were under Russian rule till 1875. First came under Japanese rule after the Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1875). Major population was on the island of Shumshu, with a few others in islands like Paramushir. Altogether they numbered 221 in 1860. They had Russian names, spoke Russian fluently and were Russian Orthodox in religion. As the islands were gifted to the Japanese, more than a hundred Ainu fled to Kamchatka along with their Russian employers (where they were assimilated in to the Kamchadal population).[92][93] Only about half remained under Japanese rule. In order to derussify the Kurile, the entire population of 97 individuals were relocated to Shikotan in 1884, given Japanese names and children were enrolled in to Japanese schools. Unlike the other Ainu groups, the Kurile failed to adjust to their new surroundings and by 1933 only 10 individuals were alive (plus another 34 multiracial individuals). The last group of 20 individuals (including a few pure bloods) were evacuated to Hokkaido in 1941, where they vanished as a separate ethnic group soon after.[90]