‘Distinct’ Facial Features Have Been Around For A Very Long Time

‘Distinct’ Facial Features Have Been Around For A Very Long Time

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

A new study suggests that human facial features are found deep within our ancestry. Some say that the similarities between the facial features of modern humans and the controversial Early Pleistocene hominin species called Homo antecessor suggests that they were the last common ancestors of both modern humans, Denisovans, and Neanderthals. Others say that’s not the right place for them on the evolutionary tree. But how can researchers find out the right location for H. antecessor when the fossil records are fragmentary and ancient DNA Early and Middle Pleistocene hominins has yet to be recovered? It’s time to bring in the mighty tooth once again!

Co-researcher of the current study, Frido Welker, explained the importance of analyzing dental enamel to Ancient Origins, “ Dental enamel is the densest/hardest tissue in the human skeleton. We notice that when we compare protein preservation in dental enamel to protein preservation in dentine or bone, which are less dense skeletal tissues, the proteins in dental enamel are always better/more preserved/abundant. As a result, dental enamel is the most optimal tissue when searching for ancient hominin genetic information (let’s say, between 500,000 and 2,000,000 years old).”

A tooth of Homo antecessor was studied using ancient protein analysis. Credit: Prof. José María Bermúdez de Castro

So with their dental enamel specimens in hand – from the molars of H. antecessor from Atapuerca, Spain (dated to 949,000–772,000 years ago) and Homo erectus from Dmanisi, Georgia (approximately 1.77 million years old) - the researchers conducted a phylogenetic analysis (analyzing ancient protein sequences to find the evolutionary relationship of species) and set off to find the right place for H. antecessor on the evolutionary tree.

  • Million-Year-Old Cannibals Took Advantage of the Easy Calories
  • Atapuerca Hominids Grew Much Quicker Than Modern Humans

What Do We Know About Homo Antecessor ?

H. antecessor is a controversial species in the genus Homo because their remains have so far only been identified in the Gran Dolina TD6 assemblage in Atapuerca, Spain. They are believed to have lived from 1.2 million to 800,000 years ago, making them one of the earliest human-like species in Europe.

Gran Dolina preserves a long-term record of Pleistocene hominin populations. José María Bermúdez de Castro

Antecessor is a Latin word meaning “predecessor, vanguard, scout, or pioneer.” The first example of what would become known as H. antecessor was discovered in 1994 and the researchers of the current study state that since then “over 170 human fossil remains have been recovered from level TD6 of the Gran Dolina site of the Sierra de Atapuerca.” The unique combination of features seen in the crania, mandibles, and dental features led to a suggestion that the human fossils be referred to as their own species in 1997. Since then the relationship between H. antecessor with other hominins in Eurasia – Homo erectus , Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans, has been debated.

The debate about the appearance of an adult H. antecessor has also been going on for years. In 2012, for example, The Smithsonian raised this criticism: “Since most of the features tying H. antecessor to modern people were found in juveniles—whose bodies and physical features change as they grow up and go through puberty—it’s possible that H. antecessor adults didn’t really look much like H. sapiens at all. And if that’s the case, then it’s hard to argue the species had an ancestor-descendent relationship with us.”

Skeletal remains of Homo antecessor . Credit: Prof. José María Bermúdez de Castro

Human Facial Features May Have Appeared Earlier

As you have probably noticed over the years, the story of Pleistocene hominins is still changing as more information comes to light. The evolutionary relationships of H. antecessor and other hominin groups is not always clear as dates are shifted around and new members are added or places are shifted on the evolutionary tree.

In the case of H. antecessor, some of their more modern facial features have had them placed before us and our neighbors, the Neanderthals and Denisovans. According to the research paper previous studies “have confirmed that H. antecessor exhibits the oldest known modern-like face in the fossil record.”

But the new study, published today in the journal Nature, states that H. antecessor was closely related to the last common ancestor of Homo sapiens , Neanderthals, and Denisovans. Specifically, the researchers, Frido Welker, Enrico Cappellini and their colleagues, believe that the right place for H. antecessor is as “a close sister lineage to subsequent Middle and Late Pleistocene hominins, including modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans.”

Skulls of Homo Erectus, Sapiens, Neanderthalensis and Antecessor. ( Creativemarc /Adobe Stock)

They write that this placement “implies that the modern-like face of H. antecessor—that is, similar to that of modern humans—may have a considerably deep ancestry in the genus Homo, and that the cranial morphology of Neanderthals represents a derived form.” Furthermore, the results of their analyses suggest “that these features appeared in Early Pleistocene hominins, and were retained by Neanderthals and lost by modern humans.

In 2014 French sculptor Élisabeth Daynès reconstructed the image of a young H. antecessor boy based on an incomplete skull from Atapuerca, Spain. Her work is in the Museo de la Evolución Humana in Burgos, Spain.

  • Jawbone found in Ethiopia set to rewrite history, push back origins of humans
  • Confirmed: The Hominins Found at Atapuerca are the Earliest Genetic Evidence of Neanderthals to Date

Forensic reconstruction of a juvenile Homo antecessor by Élisabeth Daynès (2014), Museo de la Evolución Humana, Burgos, Spain. ( CC BY SA 4.0 ) Note his facial features.

When asked about the possibility of a new adult H. antecessor facial reconstruction on the horizon, Professor José María Bermúdez de Castro told Ancient Origins that the researchers “hope to find more remains of this species and to be able to reconstruct the face of an adult” in the future.

What Can This Teach Us About the Features of Neanderthals and Denisovans?

Professor José María Bermúdez de Castro also explained why the researchers have suggested that the Neanderthal cranium is a derived, rather than primitive, form telling Ancient Origins that the environment likely played a role, “It is possible that the very particular and exclusive face of Neanderthals is related, either with adaptation to climatic conditions, or with their type of diet. There is no clear answer on the matter, but many speculations.”

When asked why Homo antecessor features remained more present in Neanderthals than in modern humans, Professor Bermúdez de Castro hypothesized to Ancient Origins that:

“Although the face of Homo antecessor is very similar to that of Homo sapiens (modern-like) it is true that this species seems to have a number of characters scattered in different anatomical regions, which were inherited much later by Neanderthals. However, I wonder if that scattered set of characters is more important than the face. Always from the field of speculation, the fact that Homo antecessor is a European species may also be a reason to find more similarities with Neanderthals, a species originated and evolved in Eurasia.”

Since there is still an ongoing debate about what Denisovans may have looked like as well, Ancient Origins asked Professor Bermúdez de Castro to weigh-in on that hominin group’s appearance.

“In my view, the face of Denisovans would not be much different from that of older Neanderthals.” Professor Bermúdez de Castro said, “For example, we know very well the faces of the humans recovered at the Sima de los Huesos site in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain), who share their RNA with the Denisovans and who can be considered as "ancient Neanderthals". Therefore, the face of the Denisovans could be not very different from that of the humans recovered from the Sima de los Huesos.”

Those Teeth Were Made for Chomping!

Finally, we also asked the researchers if they learned anything new about the general function of the teeth, that is, eating, and what these prehistoric choppers can tell us about the diet of H. antecessor. Professor Bermúdez de Castro’s response may surprise you, unless you’ve already read a couple of previous studies regarding their diet on Ancient Origins. The professor said:

“All hominins are omnivores. We can eat any food. The diet depends on the food that we have available. In the Sierra de Atapuerca, 800,000 years ago, there was a milder climate than today and there was plenty of food available: fruits, berries, insects, eggs, fish, amphibians, reptiles, etc., as well as various species of mammals for hunting. All this could be part of the Homo antecessor menu, including other human beings. The oldest known cannibalism in the history of humanity has been verified in Homo antecessor. Undoubtedly, it was a territorial cannibalism, since the Sierra de Atapuerca region was very rich in natural resources, including many water springs.”

  • What ancient footprints can tell us about what it was like to be a child in prehistoric times
  • Our Ancestors Were Cannibals – and Probably Not Because They Needed the Calories

Model of a male Homo antecessor of Atapuerca mountains possibly practicing cannibalism. (Ibeas Museum, Burgos, Spain) ( Jose Luis Martinez Alvarez/ CC BY SA 2.0 )

Despite the diverse natural resources available, H. antecessor were cannibals…and probably not because they needed the calories.

Let’s Keep Mapping the Evolutionary Tree…

Now that the researchers believe they have found the right place for H. antecessor on the evolutionary tree , what will they do next?

Welker says that this study has set the stage for future projects. When asked what his own next project will be, he told Ancient Origins, “More hominins! We are keen to explore the further use of ancient protein analysis when studying human evolution in a range of time periods, sites, and hominin taxa.”

We look forward to seeing where these studies will take us as we continue to discover more about our ancient ancestors and evolutionary neighbors.

Digital reconstruction of specimen ATD6-69 from the Homo antecessor collection. Computerized microtomography (micro-CT) techniques were used to perform this reconstruction. Laura Martín-Francés

Olmec Colossal Stone Heads

The stone head sculptures of the Olmec civilization of the Gulf Coast of Mexico (1200 BCE - 400 BCE) are amongst the most mysterious and debated artefacts from the ancient world. The most agreed upon theory is that, because of their unique physical features and the difficulty and cost involved in their creation, they represent Olmec rulers.

Seventeen heads have been discovered to date, 10 of which are from San Lorenzo and 4 from La Venta two of the most important Olmec centres. The heads were each carved from a single basalt boulder which in some cases were transported 100 km or more to their final destination, presumably using huge balsa river rafts wherever possible and log rollers on land. The principal source of this heavy stone was Cerro Cintepec in the Tuxtla Mountains. The heads can be nearly 3 m high, 4.5 metres (9.8 feet, 14.7 feet) in circumference and average around 8 tons in weight. The heads were sculpted using hard hand-held stones and it is likely that they were originally painted using bright colours. The fact that these giant sculptures depict only the head may be explained by the widely held belief in Mesoamerican culture that it was the head alone which contained the emotions, experience, and soul of an individual.


Facial details were drilled into the stone (using reeds and wet sand) so that prominent features such as the eyes, mouth, and nostrils have real depth. Some also have deliberately drilled dimples on the cheeks, chin, and lips. The heads all display unique facial features - often in a very naturalistic and expressive manner - so that they may be considered portraits of actual rulers. The scholar M.E. Miller identifies Colossal Head 5, for example, as a second-millenium BCE ruler of San Lorenzo. Although the physionomy of the sculptures has given rise to unfounded speculation of contact with civilizations from Africa, in fact, the physical features common to the heads are still seen today in residents of the modern Mexican cities of Tabasco and Veracruz.

The subject often wears a protective helmet which was worn by the Olmec in battle and during the Mesoamerican ballgame. These can vary in design and pattern and sometimes the subject also has jaguar paws hanging over the forehead, perhaps representing a jaguar pelt worn as a symbol of political and religious power, a common association in many Mesoamerican cultures. Colossal Head 1 from La Venta, instead, has huge talons carved on the front of the helmet.


Some heads are also recarvings of other objects. For example, San Lorenzo Colossal Head 7 was originally a throne and has a deep indentation on one side and Altar 5 from La Venta seems to have been abandoned in the middle of such a conversion. Miller suggests that perhaps a specific ruler's throne was converted into a colossal portrait in an act of remembrance following that ruler's death.

Many of the stones are difficult to place in their original context as they were not necessarily found in the positions the Olmecs had originally put them. Indeed, Almere Read (41) suggests that even the Olmecs themselves regularly moved the heads around for different ritual purposes. Another theory is that the heads were used as powerful markers of rulership and distributed to declare political dominance in various territories. Interestingly, the four heads from La Venta were perhaps originally positioned with such a purpose in mind so that they stood as guardians to the sacred precinct of the city. Three were positioned at the northern end of the complex and the other one stood at the southern end but all faced outwards as if protecting the precinct. These heads are very similar to the San Lorenzo heads but display a regional variance in that they are wider and more squat in appearance.

Sign up for our free weekly email newsletter!

That the other heads might have been discovered out of their original setting is suggested by the fact that very often they show signs of deliberate vandalism and most were buried sometime before 900 BCE in what appears to have been a purposeful ritual distancing with the past. However, it has also been suggested that some of the heads were buried shortly after their production in a process of ancestor worship or that they were defaced and buried by subsequent rulers to legitimize their claim to power and exclude competing lineages. It could also be that they were even damaged in order to neutralize the dead ruler's power. Whatever the reason, the heads were buried and forgotten for nearly three thousand years until the first head was re-discovered, in 1871 CE, with the last being excavated as recently as 1994 CE.

Troubling Study Says Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Who Will Be Criminals Based on Facial Features

The fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning are moving so quickly that any notion of ethics is lagging decades behind, or left to works of science fiction. This might explain a new study out of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which says computers can tell whether you will be a criminal based on nothing more than your facial features.

The bankrupt attempt to infer moral qualities from physiology was a popular pursuit for millennia, particularly among those who wanted to justify the supremacy of one racial group over another. But phrenology, which involved studying the cranium to determine someone’s character and intelligence, was debunked around the time of the Industrial Revolution, and few outside of the pseudo-scientific fringe would still claim that the shape of your mouth or size of your eyelids might predict whether you’ll become a rapist or thief.

Not so in the modern age of Artificial Intelligence, apparently: In a paper titled “Automated Inference on Criminality using Face Images,” two Shanghai Jiao Tong University researchers say they fed “facial images of 1,856 real persons” into computers and found “some discriminating structural features for predicting criminality, such as lip curvature, eye inner corner distance, and the so-called nose-mouth angle.” They conclude that “all four classifiers perform consistently well and produce evidence for the validity of automated face-induced inference on criminality, despite the historical controversy surrounding the topic.”

Though long ago rejected by the scientific community, phrenology and other forms of physiognomy have reappeared throughout dark chapters of history. A 2009 article in Pacific Standard on the racial horrors of colonial Rwanda might’ve been good background material for the pair:

In the 1920s and 1930s, the Belgians, in their role as occupying power, put together a national program to try to identify individuals’ ethnic identity through phrenology, an abortive attempt to create an ethnicity scale based on measurable physical features such as height, nose width and weight, with the hope that colonial administrators would not have to rely on identity cards.

This can’t be overstated: The authors of this paper — in 2016 — believe computers are capable of scanning images of your lips, eyes, and nose to detect future criminality. It’s enough to make phrenology seem quaint.

The study contains virtually no discussion of why there is a “historical controversy” over this kind of analysis — namely, that it was debunked hundreds of years ago. Rather, the authors trot out another discredited argument to support their main claims:, that computers can’t be racist, because they’re computers:

Unlike a human examiner/judge, a computer vision algorithm or classifier has absolutely no subjective baggages, having no emotions, no biases whatsoever due to past experience, race, religion, political doctrine, gender, age, etc., no mental fatigue, no preconditioning of a bad sleep or meal. The automated inference on criminality eliminates the variable of meta-accuracy (the competence of the human judge/examiner) all together. Besides the advantage of objectivity, sophisticated algorithms based on machine learning may discover very delicate and elusive nuances in facial characteristics and structures that correlate to innate personal traits and yet hide below the cognitive threshold of most untrained nonexperts.

This misses the fact that no computer or software is created in a vacuum. Software is designed by people, and people who set out to infer criminality from facial features are not free from inherent bias.

Absent, too, is any discussion of the incredible potential for abuse of this software by law enforcement. Kate Crawford, an AI researcher with Microsoft Research New York, MIT, and NYU, told The Intercept, “I ‘d call this paper literal phrenology, it’s just using modern tools of supervised machine learning instead of calipers. It’s dangerous pseudoscience.”

Crawford cautioned that “a s we move further into an era of police body cameras and predictive policing, it’s important to critically assess the problematic and unethical uses of machine learning to make spurious correlations,” adding that it’s clear the authors “ know it’s ethically and scientifically problematic, but their ‘curiosity’ was more important.”

Given the explosive, excited growth of AI as a field of study and a hot commodity, don’t be surprised if this curiosity is contagious.


At its height, Teotihuacan was one of the largest cities in the world with a population of 200,000. It was a primary center of commerce and manufacturing.

Learning Objectives

Understand the importance of Teotihuacan as a religious, commercial, and art historical center

Key Takeaways

Key Points

Key Terms

  • taludtablero: A design characteristic of Mayan architecture at Teotihuacan in which a sloping talud at the base of a building supports a wall-like tablero, where ornamental painting and sculpture are usually placed.

Located some 30 miles northeast of present-day Mexico City, Teotihuacan experienced a period of rapid growth early in the first millennium CE. By 200 CE, it emerged as a significant center of commerce and manufacturing, the first large city-state in the Americas. At its height between 350 and 650 CE, Teotihuacan covered nearly nine miles and had a population of about 200,000, making it one of the largest cities in the world. One reason for its dominance was its control of the market for high-quality obsidian. This volcanic stone, made into tools and vessels , was traded for luxury items such as the green feathers of the quetzal bird, used for priestly headdresses, and the spotted fur of the jaguar, used for ceremonial garments.

Ceremonial center of the city of Teotihuacan, Mexico, Teotihuacan culture, c. 350-650 CE.: View from the Pyramid of the Moon down the Avenue of the Dead to the Ciudadela and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. The Pyramid of the Sun is at the middle left. The avenue is over a mile long.

The people of Teotihuacan worshipped deities that were recognizably similar to those worshipped by later Mesoamerican people, including the Aztecs, who dominated central Mexico at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Among these are the Rain or Storm God (god of fertility, war, and sacrifice), known to the Aztecs as Tlaloc, and the Feathered Serpent, known to the Maya as Kukulcan and to the Aztecs as Quetzalcoatl.

Teotihuacan’s principal monuments include the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, and the Ciudadela (Spanish for fortified city center), a vast sunken plaza surrounded by temple platforms. The city’s principal religious and political center, the Ciudadela could accommodate an assembly of more than 60,000 people. Its focal point was the pyramidal Temple of the Feathered Serpent. This seven-tiered structure exhibits the taludtablero construction that is a hallmark of the Teotihuacan architectural style . The sloping base, or talud, of each platform supports a vertical tablero, or entablature , which is surrounded by frame and filled with sculptural decoration . The Temple of the Feathered Serpent was enlarged several times, and as was characteristic of Mesoamerican pyramids, each enlargement completely enclosed the previous structure like the layers of an onion. Archaeological excavation of this temple’s earlier-phase tableros and a stairway balustrade have revealed painted heads of the Feathered Serpent, the goggle-eyed Rain or Storm God, and reliefs of aquatic shells and snails. The flat, angular, abstract style, typical of Teotihuacan art, is in marked contrast to the curvilinear style of Olmec art.

Temple of the Feathered Serpent, the Ciudadela.: Detail of pyramid, showing the alternating talud base and vertical tablero (left).

The Decline

Sometime in the middle of the seventh century disaster struck Teotihuacan. The ceremonial center burned and the city went into a permanent decline. Nevertheless, its influence continued as other centers throughout Mesoamerica and as far south as the highlands of Guatemala borrowed and transformed its imagery over the next several centuries. The site was never entirely abandoned as it remained a legendary pilgrimage center. The much later Aztec people (c. 1300-1525 CE) revered the site as the place where they believed the gods created the sun and the moon. In fact, the name “Teotihuacan” is actually an Aztec word meaning “Gathering Place of the Gods.”


There are several examples of early sequential images that may seem similar to series of animation drawings. Most of these examples would only allow an extremely low frame rate when they are animated, resulting in short and crude animations that are not very lifelike. However, it's very unlikely that these images were intended to be somehow viewed as an animation. It is possible to imagine technology that could have been used in the periods of their creation, but no conclusive evidence in artifacts or descriptions have been found. It is sometimes argued that these early sequential images are too easily interpreted as "pre-cinema" by minds accustomed to film, comic books and other modern sequential images, while it is uncertain that the creators of these images envisioned anything like it. [1] Fluid animation needs a proper breakdown of a motion into the separate images of very short instances, which could hardly be imagined before modern times. [2] Measuring instances shorter than a second first became possible with instruments developed in the 1850s. [3]

Early examples of attempts to capture the phenomenon of motion into a still drawing can be found in paleolithic cave paintings, where animals are sometimes depicted with multiple legs in superimposed positions or in series that can be interpreted as one animal in different positions. [4] It has been claimed that these superimposed figures were intended for a form of animation with the flickering light of the flames of a fire or of a passing torch, alternately illuminating different parts of the painted rock wall, revealing different parts of the motion. [5] [6]

Archaeological finds of small paleolithic discs with a hole in the middle and drawings on both sides have been claimed to be a kind of prehistoric thaumatropes that show motion when spun on a string. [5] [7]

A 5,200-year-old pottery bowl discovered in Shahr-e Sukhteh, Iran has five sequential images painted around it that seem to show phases of a goat leaping up to nip at a tree. [8] [9]

An Egyptian mural approximately 4000 years old, found in the tomb of Khnumhotep at the Beni Hassan cemetery, features a very long series of images that apparently depict the sequence of events in a wrestling match. [10]

The Parthenon Frieze (circa 400 BCE) has been described as displaying analysis of motion and representing phases of movement, structured rhythmic and melodically with counterpoints like a symphony. It has been claimed that parts actually form a coherent animation if the figures are shot frame by frame. [11] Although the structure follows a unique time-space continuum, it has narrative strategies. [12]

The Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius (c. 99 BCE – c. 55 BCE) wrote in his poem De rerum natura a few lines that come close to the basic principles of animation: ". when the first image perishes and a second is then produced in another position, the former seems to have altered its pose. Of course, this must be supposed to take place very swiftly: so great is their velocity, so great the store of particles in any single moment of sensation, to enable the supply to come up." This was in the context of dream images, rather than images produced by an actual or imagined technology. [13] [14]

The medieval codex Sigenot (circa 1470) has sequential illuminations with relatively short intervals between different phases of action. Each page has a picture inside a frame above the text, with great consistency in size and position throughout the book (with a consistent difference in size for the recto and verso sides of each page). [15]

A page of drawings [16] by Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) show anatomical studies with four different angles of the muscles of shoulder, arm and neck of a man. The four drawings can be read as a rotating movement.

Ancient Chinese records contain several mentions of devices, including one made by the inventor Ding Huan, said to "give an impression of movement" to a series of human or animal figures on them, [17] but these accounts are unclear and may only refer to the actual movement of the figures through space. [18]

Since before 1000 CE, the Chinese had a rotating lantern that had silhouettes projected on its thin paper sides that appeared to chase each other. This was called the "trotting horse lamp" [走馬燈] as it would typically depict horses and horse-riders. The cut-out silhouettes were attached inside the lantern to a shaft with a paper vane impeller on top, rotated by heated air rising from a lamp. Some versions added extra motion with jointed heads, feet or hands of figures triggered by a transversely connected iron wire. [19]

Volvelles have moving parts, but these and other paper materials that can be manipulated into motion are usually not regarded as animation.

Shadow play has much in common with animation: people watching moving figures on a screen as a popular form of entertainment, usually a story with dialogue, sounds and music. The figures could be very detailed and very articulated.

The earliest projection of images was most likely done in primitive shadowgraphy dating back to prehistory. It evolved into more refined forms of shadow puppetry, mostly with flat jointed cut-out figures which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen. The shapes of the puppets sometimes include translucent color or other types of detailing. The history of shadow puppetry is uncertain, but seems to have originated in Asia, possibly in the 1st millennium BCE. Clearer records seem to go back to around 900 CE. It later spread to the Ottoman empire and seems not to have reached Europe before the 17th century. It became popular in France at the end of the 18th century. François Dominique Séraphin started his elaborate shadow shows in 1771 and performed them until his death in 1800. His heirs continued until their theatre closed in 1870. Séraphin sometimes used clockwork mechanisms to automate the show.

Around the time cinematography was developed, several theaters in Montmartre showed elaborate, successful "Ombres Chinoises" shows. The famous Le Chat Noir produced 45 different shows between 1885 and 1896.

Moving images were possibly projected with the magic lantern since its invention by Christiaan Huygens in 1659. His sketches for magic lantern slides have been dated to that year and are the oldest known document concerning the magic lantern. [20] One encircled sketch depicts Death raising his arm from his toes to his head, another shows him moving his right arm up and down from his elbow and yet another taking his skull off his neck and placing it back. Dotted lines indicate the intended movements.

Techniques to add motion to painted glass slides for the magic lantern were described since circa 1700. These usually involved parts (for instance, limbs) painted on one or more extra pieces of glass moved by hand or small mechanisms across a stationary slide which showed the rest of the picture. [21] Popular subjects for mechanical slides included the sails of a windmill turning, a procession of figures, a drinking man lowering and raising his glass to his mouth, a head with moving eyes, a nose growing very long, rats jumping in the mouth of a sleeping man. A more complex 19th century rackwork slide showed the then known eight planets and their satellites orbiting around the sun. [22] Two layers of painted waves on glass could create a convincing illusion of a calm sea turning into a stormy sea tossing some boats about by increasing the speed of the manipulation of the different parts.

In 1770 Edmé-Gilles Guyot detailed how to project a magic lantern image on smoke to create a transparent, shimmering image of a hovering ghost. This technique was used in the phantasmagoria shows that became popular in several parts of Europe between 1790 and the 1830s. Other techniques were developed to produce convincing ghost experiences. The lantern was handheld to move the projection across the screen (which was usually an almost invisible transparent screen behind which the lanternist operated hidden in the dark). A ghost could seem to approach the audience or grow larger by moving the lantern away from the screen, sometimes with the lantern on a trolley on rails. Multiple lanterns made ghosts move independently and were occasionally used for superimposition in the composition of complicated scenes. [23]

Dissolving views became a popular magic lantern show, especially in England in the 1830s and 1840s. [23] These typically had a landscape changing from a winter version to a spring or summer variation by slowly diminishing the light from one version while introducing the aligned projection of the other slide. [24] Another use showed the gradual change of, for instance, groves into cathedrals. [25]

Between the 1840s and 1870s several abstract magic lantern effects were developed. This included the chromatrope which projected dazzling colorful geometrical patterns by rotating two painted glass discs in opposite directions. [26]

Occasionally small shadow puppets had been used in phantasmagoria shows. [23] Magic lantern slides with jointed figures set in motion by levers, thin rods, or cams and worm wheels were also produced commercially and patented in 1891. A popular version of these "Fantoccini slides" had a somersaulting monkey with arms attached to mechanism that made it tumble with dangling feet. Fantoccini slides are named after the Italian word for puppets like marionettes or jumping jacks. [27]

Numerous devices that successfully displayed animated images were introduced well before the advent of the motion picture. These devices were used to entertain, amaze, and sometimes even frighten people. The majority of these devices didn't project their images, and could only be viewed by a one or a few persons at a time. They were considered optical toys rather than devices for a large scale entertainment industry like later animation. [ citation needed ] Many of these devices are still built by and for film students learning the basic principles of animation.

Prelude Edit

An article in the Quarterly Journal of Science, Literature, and The Arts (1821) [28] raised interest in optical illusions of curved spokes in rotating wheels seen through vertical apertures. In 1824, Peter Mark Roget provided mathematical details about the appearing curvatures and added the observation that the spokes appeared motionless. Roget claimed that the illusion is due to the fact "that an impression made by a pencil of rays on the retina, if sufficiently vivid, will remain for a certain time after the cause has ceased." [29] This was later seen as the basis for the theory of "persistence of vision" as the principle of how we see film as motion rather than the successive stream of still images actually presented to the eye. This theory has been discarded as the (sole) principle of the effect since 1912, but remains in many film history explanations. However, Roget's experiments and explanation did inspire further research by Michael Faraday and by Joseph Plateau that eventually brought about the invention of animation.

Thaumatrope (1825) Edit

In April 1825 the first thaumatrope was published by W. Phillips (in anonymous association with John Ayrton Paris) and became a popular toy. [30] The pictures on either side of a small cardboard disc seem to blend into one combined image when it is twirled quickly by the attached strings. This is often used as an illustration of what has often been called "persistence of vision", presumably referring to the effect in which the impression of a single image persists although in reality two different images are presented with interruptions. It is unclear how much of the effect relates to positive afterimages. Although a thaumatrope can also be used for two-phase animation, no examples are known to have been produced with this effect until long after the phénakisticope had established the principle of animation.

Phénakisticope (1833) Edit

The phénakisticope (better known by the misspelling phenakistiscope or phenakistoscope) was the first animation device using rapid successive substitution of sequential pictures. The pictures are evenly spaced radially around a disc, with small rectangular apertures at the rim of the disc. The animation could be viewed through the slits of the spinning disc in front of a mirror. It was invented in November or December 1832 by the Belgian Joseph Plateau and almost simultaneously by the Austrian Simon von Stampfer. Plateau first published about his invention in January 1833. The publication included an illustration plate of a fantascope with 16 frames depicting a pirouetting dancer.

The phénakisticope was successful as a novelty toy and within a year many sets of stroboscopic discs were published across Europe, with almost as many different names for the device - including Fantascope (Plateau), The Stroboscope (Stampfer) and Phénakisticope (Parisian publisher Giroux & Cie).

Zoetrope (1833/1866) Edit

In July 1833, Simon Stampfer described the possibility of using the stroboscope principle in a cylinder (as well as on looped strips) in a pamphlet accompanying the second edition of his version of the phénakisticope. [31] British mathematician William George Horner suggested a cylindrical variation of Plateau's phénakisticope in January 1834. Horner planned to publish this Dædaleum with optician King, Jr in Bristol but it "met with some impediment probably in the sketching of the figures". [32]

In 1865, William Ensign Lincoln invented the definitive zoetrope with easily replaceable strips of images. It also had an illustrated paper disc on the base, which was not always exploited on the commercially produced versions. [33] Lincoln licensed his invention to Milton Bradley and Co. who first advertised it on December 15, 1866. [34]

Flip book (kineograph) (1868) Edit

John Barnes Linnett patented the first flip book in 1868 as the kineograph. [35] [36] A flip book is a small book with relatively springy pages, each having one in a series of animation images located near its unbound edge. The user bends all of the pages back, normally with the thumb, then by a gradual motion of the hand allows them to spring free one at a time. As with the phenakistoscope, zoetrope and praxinoscope, the illusion of motion is created by the apparent sudden replacement of each image by the next in the series, but unlike those other inventions, no view-interrupting shutter or assembly of mirrors is required and no viewing device other than the user's hand is absolutely necessary. Early film animators cited flip books as their inspiration more often than the earlier devices, which did not reach as wide an audience. [37]

The older devices by their nature severely limit the number of images that can be included in a sequence without making the device very large or the images impractically small. The book format still imposes a physical limit, but many dozens of images of ample size can easily be accommodated. Inventors stretched even that limit with the mutoscope, patented in 1894 and sometimes still found in amusement arcades. It consists of a large circularly-bound flip book in a housing, with a viewing lens and a crank handle that drives a mechanism that slowly rotates the assembly of images past a catch, sized to match the running time of an entire reel of film.

Praxinoscope (1877) Edit

French inventor Charles-Émile Reynaud developed the praxinoscope in 1876 and patented it in 1877. [38] It is similar to the zoetrope but instead of the slits in the cylinder it has twelve rectangular mirrors placed evenly around the center of the cylinder. Each mirror reflects another image of the picture strip placed opposite on the inner wall of the cylinder. When rotating the praxinoscope shows the sequential images one by one, resulting in fluid animation. The praxinoscope allowed a much clearer view of the moving image compared to the zoetrope, since the zoetrope's images were actually mostly obscured by the spaces in between its slits. In 1879, Reynaud registered a modification to the praxinoscope patent to include the Praxinoscope Théâtre, which utilized the Pepper's ghost effect to present the animated figures in an exchangeable background. Later improvements included the "Praxinoscope à projection" (marketed since 1882) which used a double magic lantern to project the animated figures over a still projection of a background. [39]

Zoopraxiscope (1879) Edit

Eadweard Muybridge had circa 70 of his famous chronophotographic sequences painted on glass discs for the zoopraxiscope projector that he used in his popular lectures between 1880 and 1895. In the 1880s the images were painted onto the glass in dark contours. Later discs made between 1892 and 1894 had outlines drawn by Erwin F. Faber that were photographically printed on the disc and then coloured by hand, but these were probably never used in the lectures. The painted figures were largely transposed from the photographs, but many fanciful combinations were made and sometimes imaginary elements were added. [40] [41]

Théâtre Optique Edit

Charles-Émile Reynaud further developed his projection praxinoscope into the Théâtre Optique with transparent hand-painted colorful pictures in a long perforated strip wound between two spools, patented in December 1888. From 28 October 1892 to March 1900 Reynaud gave over 12,800 shows to a total of over 500,000 visitors at the Musée Grévin in Paris. His Pantomimes Lumineuses series of animated films each contained 300 to 700 frames manipulated back and forth to last 10 to 15 minutes per film. A background scene was projected separately. Piano music, song and some dialogue were performed live, while some sound effects were synchronized with an electromagnet. The first program included three cartoons: Pauvre Pierrot (created in 1892), Un bon bock (created in 1892, now lost), and Le Clown et ses chiens (created in 1892, now lost). Later on the titles Autour d'une cabine (created in 1894) and A rêve au coin du feu would be part of the performances.

Standard picture film Edit

Despite the success of Reynaud's films, it took some time before animation was adapted in the film industry that came about after the introduction of Lumiere's Cinematograph in 1895. Georges Méliès' early fantasy and trick films (released between 1896 and 1913) occasionally came close to including animation with stop trick effects, painted props or painted creatures that were moved in front of painted backgrounds (mostly using wires), and film colorization by hand. Méliès also popularized the stop trick, with a single change made to the scene in between shots, that had already been used in Edison's The Execution of Mary Stuart in 1895 and probably led to the development of stop-motion animation some years later. [42] It seems to have lasted until 1906 before proper animated films' appearance in cinemas. The dating of earlier films with animation is contested, while other films that may have used stop motion or other animation techniques are lost and can't be checked.

Printed animation film Edit

In 1897 German toy manufacturer Gebrüder Bing had a first prototype of their kinematograph. [43] In November 1898 they presented this toy film projector, possibly the first of its kind, at a toy festival in Leipzig. Soon other toy manufacturers, including Ernst Plank and Georges Carette, sold similar devices. Around the same time the French company Lapierre marketed a similar projector. The toy cinematographs were adapted toy magic lanterns with one or two small spools that used standard "Edison perforation" 35mm film. These projectors were intended for the same type of "home entertainment" toy market that most of these manufacturers already provided with praxinoscopes and toy magic lanterns. Apart from relatively expensive live-action films, the manufacturers produced many cheaper films by printing lithographed drawings. These animations were probably made in black-and-white from around 1898 or 1899, but at the latest by 1902 they were made in color. The pictures were often traced from live-action films (much like the later rotoscoping technique). These very short films depicted a simple repetitive action and were created to be projected as a loop - playing endlessly with the film ends put together. The lithograph process and the loop format follow the tradition that was set by the zoetrope and praxinoscope. [44] [45]

Katsudō Shashin, from an unknown creator, was discovered in 2005 and is speculated to be the oldest work of animation in Japan, with Natsuki Matsumoto, [Note 1] [46] an expert in iconography at the Osaka University of Arts [47] and animation historian Nobuyuki Tsugata [Note 2] determining the film was most likely made between 1907 and 1911. [48] The film consists of a series of cartoon images on fifty frames of a celluloid strip and lasts three seconds at sixteen frames per second. [49] It depicts a young boy in a sailor suit who writes the kanji characters " 活動写真 " (katsudō shashin, or "moving picture"), then turns towards the viewer, removes his hat, and offers a salute. [49] Evidence suggests it was mass-produced to be sold to wealthy owners of home projectors. [50] To Matsumoto, the relatively poor quality and low-tech printing technique indicate it was likely from a smaller film company. [51]

J. Stuart Blackton Edit

J. Stuart Blackton was a British-American filmmaker, co-founder of the Vitagraph Studios and one of the first to use animation in his films. His The Enchanted Drawing (1900) can be regarded as the first theatrical film recorded on standard picture film that included animated elements, although this concerns just a few frames of changes in drawings. It shows Blackton doing "lightning sketches" of a face, cigars, a bottle of wine and a glass. The face changes expression when Blackton pours wine into the face's mouth and when Blackton takes his cigar. The technique used in this film was basically the stop trick: the single change to the scenes was the replacement of a drawing by a similar drawing with a different facial expression. In some scenes, a drawn bottle and glass were replaced by real objects. Blackton had possibly used the same technique in a lost 1896 lightning sketch film. [42]

Blackton's 1906 film Humorous Phases of Funny Faces is often regarded as the oldest known drawn animation on standard film. It features a sequence made with blackboard drawings that are changed between frames to show two faces changing expressions and some billowing cigar smoke, as well as two sequences that feature cutout animation with a similar look for more fluid motion.

Blackton's use of stop motion in The Haunted Hotel (1907) was very influential.

Émile Cohl Edit

The French artist Émile Cohl created the first animated film using what came to be known as traditional animation methods: the 1908 Fantasmagorie. [52] The film largely consisted of a stick figure moving about and encountering all manner of morphing objects, such as a wine bottle that transforms into a flower. There were also sections of live action where the animator's hands would enter the scene. The film was created by drawing each frame on paper and then shooting each frame onto negative film, which gave the picture a blackboard look. Cohl later went to Fort Lee, New Jersey near New York City in 1912, where he worked for French studio Éclair and spread its animation technique to the US.

Winsor McCay Edit

Starting with a short 1911 film of his most popular character Little Nemo, successful newspaper cartoonist Winsor McCay gave much more detail to his hand-drawn animations than any animation previously seen in cinemas. His 1914 film Gertie the Dinosaur featured an early example of character development in drawn animation. [53] It was also the first film to combine live-action footage with animation. Originally, McCay used the film in his vaudeville act: he would stand next to the screen and speak to Gertie who would respond with a series of gestures. At the end of the film McCay would walk behind the projection screen, seamlessly being replaced with a prerecorded image of himself entering the screen, getting on the cartoon dinosaur's back and riding out of frame. [54] [55] McCay personally hand-drew almost every one of the thousands of drawings for his films. [56] Other noteworthy titles by McCay are How a Mosquito Operates (1912) and The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918).

Cartoon Film Company – Buxton and Dyer Edit

Between 1915 and 1916 Dudley Buxton, and Anson Dyer produced a series of 26 topical cartoons, during WWI, utilising mainly cutout animation, released as the John Brown's animated sketchbook, [57] The episodes included the shelling of Scarborough by German battleships, [58] and The Sinking of the Lusitania, No.4 (June 1915) [59]

Barré Studio Edit

During the 1910s larger-scale animation studios were becoming the industrial norm and artists such as McCay faded from the public eye. [56]

Around 1913 Raoul Barré developed the peg system that made it easier to align drawings by perforating two holes below each drawing and placing them on two fixed pins. He also used a "slash and tear" technique to not have to draw the complete background or other motionless parts for every frame. The parts where something needed to be changed for the next frame were carefully cut away from the drawing and filled in with the required change on the sheet below. [60] After Barré had started his career in animation at Edison Studios, he founded one of the first film studios dedicated to animation in 1914 (initially together with Bill Nolan). Barré Studio had success with the production of the adaptation of the popular comic strip Mutt and Jeff (1916–1926). The studio employed several animators who would have notable careers in animation, including Frank Moser, Gregory La Cava, Vernon Stallings, Tom Norton and Pat Sullivan.

Bray Productions Edit

In 1914, John Bray opened John Bray Studios, which revolutionized the way animation was created. [61] Earl Hurd, one of Bray's employees, patented the cel technique. [62] This involved animating moving objects on transparent celluloid sheets. [63] Animators photographed the sheets over a stationary background image to generate the sequence of images. This, as well as Bray's innovative use of the assembly-line method, allowed John Bray Studios to create Colonel Heeza Liar, the first animated series. [64] [65] Many aspiring cartoonists started their careers at Bray, including Paul Terry (later of Heckle and Jeckle fame), Max Fleischer (later of Betty Boop and Popeye fame), and Walter Lantz (later of Woody Woodpecker fame). The cartoon studio operated from circa 1914 until 1928. Some of the first cartoon stars from the Bray studios were Farmer Alfalfa (by Paul Terry) and Bobby Bumps (by Earl Hurd).

Hearst's International Film Service Edit

Newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst founded International Film Service in 1916. Hearst lured away most of Barré Studio's animators, with Gregory La Cava becoming the head of the studio. They produced adaptations of many comic strips from Heart's newspapers in a rather limited fashion, giving just a little motion to the characters while mainly using the dialog balloons to deliver the story. The most notable series is Krazy Kat, probably the first of many anthropomorphic cartoon cat characters and other funny animals. Before the studio stopped in 1918, it had employed some new talents, including Vernon Stallings, Ben Sharpsteen, Jack King, John Foster, Grim Natwick, Burt Gillett and Isadore Klein.

Fleischer Studios Edit

In 1915, Max Fleischer applied for a patent (granted in 1917) [66] for a technique which became known as rotoscoping: the process of using live-action film recordings as a reference point to more easily create realistic animated movements. The technique was often used in the Out of the Inkwell series (1918–1929) for John Bray Productions (and others). The series resulted from experimental rotoscoped images of Dave Fleischer performing as a clown, evolving into a character who became known as Koko the Clown.

Felix the cat Edit

In 1919, Otto Messmer of Pat Sullivan Studios created Felix the Cat. Pat Sullivan, the studio head took all of the credit for Felix, a common practice in the early days of studio animation. [67] Felix the Cat was distributed by Paramount Studios and attracted a large audience, [68] eventually becoming one of the most recognized cartoon characters in film history. Felix was the first cartoon to be merchandised. [ citation needed ]

Quirino Cristiani: the first animated features Edit

The first known animated feature film was El Apóstol by Quirino Cristiani, released on 9 November 1917 in Argentina. This successful 70-minute satire utilized a cardboard cutout technique, reportedly with 58,000 frames at 14 frames per second. Cristiani's next feature Sin dejar rastros was released in 1918, but it received no press coverage and poor public attendance before it was confiscated by the police for diplomatic reasons. [69] None of Cristiani's feature films survived. [70] [71] [72]

Absolute film Edit

In the early 1920s, the absolute film movement with artists such as Walter Ruttmann, Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling and Oskar Fischinger made short abstract animations which proved influential. Although some later abstract animation works by, for instance, Len Lye and Norman McLaren would be widely appreciated, the genre largely remained a relatively obscure avant-garde art form, while direct influences or similar ideas would occasionally pop up in mainstream animation (for instance in Disney's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor in Fantasia (1940) – on which Fischinger originally collaborated until his work was scrapped, and partly inspired by the works of Lye – and in The Dot and the Line (1965) by Chuck Jones).

Early synchronized sound: Song Car-Tunes and Aesop's Sound Fables Edit

From May 1924 to September 1926, Dave and Max Fleischer's Inkwell Studios produced 19 sound cartoons, part of the Song Car-Tunes series, using the Phonofilm "sound-on-film" process. The series also introduced the "bouncing ball" above lyrics to guide audiences to sing along to the music. My Old Kentucky Home from June 1926 was probably the first film to feature a bit of synchronized animated dialogue, with an early version of Bimbo mouthing the words "Follow the ball, and join in, everybody". The Bimbo character was further developed in Fleischer's Talkartoons (1929–1932).

Paul Terry's Dinner Time, from his Aesop's Fables (1921–1936) series, premiered on 1 September 1928 with a synchronized soundtrack with dialogue. Terry was urged to add the novelty against his wishes by the new studio owner Van Beuren. Although the series and its main character Farmer Al Falfa had been popular, audiences were not impressed by this first episode with sound.

Lotte Reiniger Edit

The earliest surviving animated feature film is the 1926 silhouette-animated Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (Adventures of Prince Achmed), which used colour-tinted film. [73] It was directed by German Lotte Reiniger and her husband Carl Koch. Walter Ruttmann created visual background effects. French/Hungarian collaborator Berthold Bartosch and/or Reiniger created depth of field by putting scenographic elements and figures on several levels of glass plates with illumination from below and the camera vertically above. Later on a similar technique became the basis of the multiplane camera.

Early Disney: Laugh-O-Grams, Alice, Oswald and Mickey Edit

Between 1920 and 1922, cartoonists Walt Disney, Ubbe Iwwerks and Fred Harman worked at the Slide Company (soon renamed as Kansas City Film Ad Company), which produced cutout animation commercials. Disney and Ubbe studied Muybridge's chronophotography and the one book on animation in the local library, and Disney experimented with drawn animation techniques in his parents' garage. They were able to bring some innovations to the company, but their employer did not want to forsake the trusted cutout technique. Disney's home experiments led to a series that satirized current local topics, which he managed to sell to the owner of the three local Newman Theatres as weekly Newman Laugh-O-Grams in 1921. While striking the deal, the 19-year old Disney forgot to include a profit margin, but he was happy that someone paid for his "experiment" and gained local renown from the screenings. Disney also created his first recurring character, Professor Whosis, appearing in humorous public announcements for Newman.

Disney and Harman started their own Kaycee Studio on the side, experimenting with films played backwards, but their efforts to make money with commercials and newsreel footage were not very fruitful and Harman left in 1922. Through a newspaper ad, Disney "hired" Rudolph Ising in exchange for teaching him the ins and outs of animation. Inspired by Terry's Aesop's Fables, Disney started a series of circa seven-minute modernized fairy tale cartoons, and a new series of satirical actualities called Lafflets, with Ising's help. After two fairy-tale cartoons, Disney quit his job at Film Ad and started Laugh-O-Gram Films, Inc. with the help of investors. Iwerks, Fred's brother Hugh Harman and Carman Maxwell were among the animators who would produce five more Laugh-O-Gram fairy tale cartoons and the sponsored Tommy Tucker's Tooth in 1922. [74] The series failed to make money and in 1923 the studio tried something else with the live-action "Song-O-Reel" Martha [75] and Alice's Wonderland. The 12-minute film featured a live-action girl (Virginia Davis) interacting with numerous cartoon characters, including the Felix-inspired Julius the Cat (who had already appeared in the Laugh-O-Gram fairy tales, without a name). Before Disney was able to sell the picture, his studio went bankrupt.

Disney moved to Hollywood and managed to close a deal with New York film distributor Margaret J. Winkler, who had just lost the rights to Felix the Cat and Out of the Inkwell. To make the Alice Comedies series (1923–1927), Iwwerks also moved to Hollywood, later followed by Ising, Harman, Maxwell and Film Ad colleague Friz Freleng. The series was successful enough to last 57 episodes, but Disney eventually preferred to create a new fully animated series.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit followed in 1927 and became a hit, but after failed negotiations for continuation in 1928, Charles Mintz took direct control of production and Disney lost his character and most of his staff to Mintz.

Disney and Iwerks developed Mickey Mouse in 1928 to replace Oswald. A first film entitled Plane Crazy failed to impress a test audience and did not raise sufficient interest of potential distributors. After some live-action movies with synchronized sound had become successful, Disney put the new Mickey Mouse cartoon The Gallopin' Gaucho on hold to start work on a special sound production which would launch the series more convincingly. Much of the action in the resulting Steamboat Willie (November 1928) involves the making of sounds, for instance with Mickey making music using livestock aboard the boat. The film became a huge success and Mickey Mouse would soon become the most popular cartoon character in history.

Bosko Edit

Bosko was created in 1927 by Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising, specifically with talkies in mind. They were still working for Disney at the time, but they left in 1928 to work on the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons at Universal for about a year, and then produced Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid pilot in May 1929 to shop for a distributor. They signed with Leon Schlesinger productions and started the Looney Tunes series for Warner Bros. in 1930. Bosko was the star of 39 Warner Bros. cartoons before Harman and Ising took Bosko to MGM after leaving Warner Bros.. After two MGM cartoons, the character received a dramatic make-over that was much less appreciated by audiences. Bosko's career ended in 1938.

The lithographed films for home use that were available in Europe in the first decades of the twentieth century were multi-coloured, but the technique does not seem to have been applied for theatrically released animated films. While the original prints of The Adventures of Prince Achmed featured film tinting, most theatrically released animated films before 1930 were plain black and white. Effective color processes were a welcome innovation in Hollywood and seemed especially suitable for cartoons.

Two-strip color Edit

A cartoon segment in the feature film King of Jazz (April 1930), made by Walter Lantz and Bill Nolan, was the first animation presented in two-strip Technicolor.

Fiddlesticks, released together with King of Jazz, was the first Flip the Frog film and the first project Ub Iwerks worked on after he had left Disney to set up his own studio. In England, the cartoon was released in Harris Color, [76] a two-color process, probably as the first theatrically released standalone animated cartoon to boast both sound and color.

Disney's Silly Symphonies in Technicolor Edit

When the Silly Symphonies series, started in 1929, was less popular than Disney had hoped, he turned to a new technical innovation to improve the impact of the series. In 1932 he worked with the Technicolor company to create the first full-colour animation Flowers and Trees, debuting the three-strip technique (the first use in live-action movies came circa two years later). The cartoon was successful and won an Academy Award for Short Subjects, Cartoons. [77] Disney temporarily had an exclusive deal for the use of Technicolor's full color technique in animated films. He even waited a while before he produced the ongoing Mickey Mouse series in color, so the Silly Symphonies would have their special appeal for audiences. After the exclusive deal lapsed in September 1935, full color animation soon became the industry standard.

Silly Symphonies inspired many cartoon series that boasted various other color systems until Technicolor wasn't exclusive to Disney anymore, including Ub Iwerks' ComiColor Cartoons (1933–1936), Van Beuren Studios' Rainbow Parade (1934–1936), Fleischer's Color Classics (1934–1941), Charles Mintz's Color Rhapsody (1936–1949), MGM's Happy Harmonies (1934–1938) George Pal's Puppetoons (1932–1948), and Walter Lantz's Swing Symphony (1941–1945).

Multiplane cameras and the Stereoptical process Edit

To create an impression of depth, several techniques were developed. The most common technique was to have characters move between several background and/or foreground layers that could be moved independently, corresponding to the laws of perspective (e.g. the further away from the camera, the slower the speed).

Lotte Reiniger had already designed a type of multiplane camera for Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed [78] and her collaborator Berthold Bartosch used a similar setup for his intricately detailed 25-minute film L'Idée (1932).

In 1933, Ub Iwerks developed a multiplane camera and used it for a number of Willie Whopper (1933–1934) and ComiColor Cartoons episodes.

The Fleischers developed the very different "Stereoptical process" in 1933 [79] for their Color Classics. It was used in the first episode Betty Boop in Poor Cinderella (1934) and most of the following episodes. The process involved three-dimensional sets built and sculpted on a large turntable. The cels were placed within the movable set, so that the animated characters would appear to move in front and behind of the 3D elements within the scene when the turntable was made to rotate.

Disney-employee William Garity developed a multiplane camera that could have up to seven layers of artwork. It was tested in the Academy Award-winning Silly Symphony The Old Mill (1937) and used prominently in Snow White and later features.

New colourful cartoon superstars Edit

After the additions of sound and colour were a huge success for Disney, other studios followed. By the end of the decade, almost all the theatrical cartoons were produced in full colour.

Initially, music and songs were the focus of many series, as indicated by series titles as Song Car-Tunes, Silly Symphonies, Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes, but it was the recognizable characters that really stuck with audiences. Mickey Mouse had been the first cartoon superstar who surpassed Felix the Cat's popularity, but soon dozens more cartoon superstars followed, many remaining popular for decades.

Warner Bros. had a vast music library that could be popularized through cartoons based on the available tunes. While Disney needed to create the music for every cartoon, the readily available sheet music and songs at Warner Bros. provided inspiration for many cartoons. Leon Schlesinger sold Warner Bros. a second series called Merrie Melodies, which until 1939 contractually needed to contain at least one refrain from the music catalog. Unlike Looney Tunes with Bosko, Merrie Melodies featured only a few recurring characters like Foxy, Piggy and Goopy Geer before Harman and Ising left in 1933. Bosko was replaced with Buddy for the Looney Tunes series, but lasted only two years, while Merrie Melodies initially continued without recurring characters. Eventually, the two series became indistinguishable and produced many new characters that became popular. Animator/director Bob Clampett designed Porky Pig (1935) and Daffy Duck (1937) and was responsible for much of the energetic animation and irreverent humour associated with the series. The 1930s also saw early anonymous incarnations of characters who would later become the superstars Elmer Fudd (1937/1940), Bugs Bunny (1938/1940) and Sylvester the Cat (1939/1945). Since 1937, Mel Blanc would perform most of the characters' voices.

Disney introduced new characters to the Mickey Mouse universe who would become very popular, to star together with Mickey and Minnie Mouse (1928): Pluto (1930), Goofy (1932), and a character who would soon become the new favourite: Donald Duck (1934). Disney had realized that the success of animated films depended upon telling emotionally gripping stories he developed a "story department" where storyboard artists separate from the animators would focus on story development alone, which proved its worth when the Disney studio released in 1933 the first animated short to feature well-developed characters, Three Little Pigs. [80] [81] [82] Disney would expand his studio and start more and more production activities, including comics, merchandise and theme parks. Most projects were based on the characters developed for theatrical short films.

Fleischer Studios introduced an unnamed dog character as Bimbo's girlfriend in Dizzy Dishes (1930), who evolved into the human female Betty Boop (1930–1939) and became Fleischer's best-known creation. In the 1930s they also added Hunky and Spunky (1938) and the popular animated adaptation of Popeye (1933) to their repertoire.

Hays code and Betty Boop Edit

Hays' Motion Picture Production Code for moral guidelines was applied in 1930 and rigidly enforced between 1934 and 1968. It had a big impact on filmmakers who liked to create relatively saucy material. As an infamous example, Betty Boop suffered greatly when she had to be changed from a carefree flapper with an innocent sex appeal into a more wholesome and much tamer character in fuller dress. Her boyfriend Bimbo's disappearance was probably also the result of the codes disapproval of mixed-species relationships.

Snow White and the breakthrough of the animated feature Edit

At least eight animated feature films were released before Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, while at least another two earlier animated feature projects remained unfinished. Most of these films (of which only four survive) were made using cutout, silhouette or stop-motion techniques. Among the lost animated features were three features by Quirino Cristiani, who had premiered his third feature Peludópolis on 18 September 1931 in Buenos Aires [83] with a Vitaphone sound-on-disc synchronized soundtrack. It was received quite positively by critics, but did not become a hit and was an economic fiasco for the filmmaker. Cristiani soon realized that he could no longer make a career with animation in Argentina. [69] Only Academy Award Review of Walt Disney Cartoons—also by Disney—was totally hand-drawn. It was released seven months prior to Snow White to promote the upcoming release of Snow White. [ citation needed ] . Many do not consider this a genuine feature film, because it is a package film and lasts only 41 minutes. It does meet the official definitions of a feature film by the British Film Institute, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the American Film Institute, which require that the film has to be over 40 minutes long.

When it became known that Disney was working on a feature-length animation, critics regularly referred to the project as "Disney's folly", not believing that audiences could stand the expected bright colors and jokes for such a long time. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered on 21 December 1937 and became a worldwide success. The film continued Disney's tradition to appropriate old fairy tales and other stories (started with the Laugh-O-Grams in 1921), as would most of the Disney features that followed.

The Fleischer studios followed Disney's example with Gulliver's Travels in 1939, which was a minor success at the box office.

Early TV animation Edit

In April 1938, when about 50 television sets were connected, NBC aired the eight-minute low-budget cartoon Willie the Worm. It was especially made for this broadcast by former Disney employee Chad Grothkopf, mainly with cutouts and a bit of cel animation.

About a year later, on 3 May 1939, Disney's Donald's Cousin Gus was premiered on NBC's experimental W2XBS channel a few weeks before it was released in movie theatres. The cartoon was part of the first full-evening programme. [84]

Penis spines are thought to be most useful in promiscuous species, where they may help males to maximise their chances of reproducing

Back in 2013, scientists discovered that the genetic code for penile spines is lacking from Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes, just as it is from modern humans, suggesting that it vanished from our collective ancestors at least 800,000 years ago. This is significant, because penis spines are thought to be most useful in promiscuous species, where they may help males to compete with others and maximise the chances of reproducing. This has led to speculation that – like us – Neanderthals and Denisovans were mostly monogamous.

Sleeping around

However, there’s some evidence to suggest that Neanderthals did sleep around more than modern humans.

Studies in foetuses have shown that the presence of androgens such as testosterone in the womb can affect a person’s “digit ratio” as an adult – a measure of how the lengths of their index finger and ring fingers compare, calculated by dividing the first by the second. In a higher-testosterone environment, people tend to end up with lower ratios. This is true regardless of biological sex.

Both male and female Neanderthals are known to have interbred with our ancestors (Credit: Lambert/Ullstein Bild/Getty Images)

Since this discovery, links have been found between digit ratios and facial attractiveness, sexual orientation, risk-taking, academic performance, how empathetic women are, how dominant men seem, and even the size of their testicles – though some studies in this area are controversial.

Back in 2010, a team of scientists noticed a pattern among the closest relatives of humans, too. It turns out chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans – which are generally more promiscuous – have lower digit ratios on average, while an early modern human found in an Israeli cave and present-day humans had higher ratios (0.935 and 0.957, respectively).

Humans are broadly monogamous, so the researchers suggested that there might be a link between a species’ digit ratio and sexual strategy. If they are right, Neanderthals – who had ratios in between the two groups (0.928) – were slightly less monogamous than both early modern and present-day humans.

Walking off into the sunset

Once a Neanderthal-early-modern-human couple had found each other, they may have settled down near where the man lived, with each generation following the same pattern. Genetic evidence from Neanderthals suggests that households were composed of related men, their partners and children. Women seemed to leave their family home when they found a partner.

Another insight into happily-ever-after scenarios between early modern humans and Neanderthals comes from a study of the genes they left behind in Icelandic people today. Last year, an analysis of the genomes of 27,566 such individuals revealed the ages that Neanderthals tended to have children: while the women were usually older than their early modern human counterparts, the men were generally young fathers.

If our couple had a baby then perhaps – like other Neanderthals – the mother would have breastfed them for around nine months and fully weaned them at around 14 months, which is earlier than humans in modern non-industrial societies.

Curiosity about these ancient interactions is revealing new information about how Neanderthals lived in general – and why they disappeared.

Even if you have no interest in ancient humans, these unions are thought to have contributed to a range of traits modern humans carry today, from skin tone, hair colour and height to our sleeping patterns, mood and immune systems. Learning about them is already leading to potential treatments for modern diseases, such as drugs that target a Neanderthal gene thought to contribute to severe cases of Covid-19.

It’s now thought that the Neanderthals’ extinction roughly 40,000 years ago may have been partly driven by our mutual attraction, as well as factors such as sudden climate change and inbreeding.

One emerging theory is that diseases carried by the two subspecies – such as HPV and herpes – initially formed an invisible barrier, which prevented either from expanding their territory and potentially coming into contact. In the few areas where they did overlap, they interbred and early modern humans acquired useful immunity genes which suddenly made it possible to venture further.

But Neanderthals had no such luck – modelling suggests that if they had a higher burden of disease to begin with, they may have remained vulnerable to these exotic new strains for longer, regardless of interbreeding – and this means they were stuck. Eventually, the ancestors of present-day humans made it to their territories, and wiped them out.

Another idea is that we gradually absorbed their relatively small population into that of early modern humans. After all, they had already largely adopted our Y chromosomes and mitochondria, and at least 20% of their DNA still exists in living people today.

Perhaps the couple who got together in prehistoric Romania live on in someone reading this article.

“Race” and the reality of human physical variation

Scientists have known for many decades that there is little correlation between “race,” used in its popular sense, and actual physical variations in the human species. In the United States, for example, the people identified as African Americans do not share a common set of physical characteristics. There is a greater range of skin colours, hair colours and textures, facial features, body sizes, and other physical traits in this category than in any other human aggregate identified as a single race. Features of African Americans vary from light skins, blue or gray eyes, and blond hair to dark skins, black eyes, and crinkly hair and include every range and combination of characteristics in between. American custom has long classified any person with known African ancestry as Black, a social mandate often called the “one-drop rule.” This principle not only attests to the arbitrary nature of Black racial identity, but it was also presumed to keep those classified as racially “white” pure and untainted by the “blood” of low-status and inferior races. This rule has not applied to other “racial” mixtures, such as children born of white and Asian parents, although some of these children have suffered discrimination because of physical similarities to their lower-status parent. All this gives clear evidence of the socially arbitrary nature of race categories in North America.

Other types of anomalies have frequently appeared in efforts to classify “racial” populations around the world. Whereas British scholars, for example, tend to separate East Indians into their own racial category (during the colonial period, natives of India, Burma, Melanesia, and Australia were, and still are, called “Blacks”), American scholars have usually included East Indians in the “Caucasian” category to differentiate them from American Blacks. Light-skinned Indians usually from northern India have been accepted as “white,” but very dark Indians have sometimes experienced colour discrimination in the United States.

Since World War II, travel and immigration have greatly increased the contact of Western peoples with a wide variety of peoples throughout the world. Contact with peoples of the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, as well as with peoples from several areas of Africa and the Middle East, has shown that most of these people do not neatly fit into existing racial stereotypes. Some appear to have a mixture of Asian and African or European and African physical characteristics. Others, such as Melanesians, can easily be mistaken for Africans or Black Americans. More anomalous are native Australians, some of whom have light or blond wavy hair combined with dark skins. Many Americans are recognizing that the social categories of race as evolved in the United States are inadequate for encompassing such peoples who, indeed, do not share the social history of racial minorities in the United States.

In the 1950s and ’60s the United States began experiencing an influx of new immigrants from Latin America. Spanish and Portuguese colonial societies exhibited very different attitudes toward physical differences. Even before Christopher Columbus set sail, the Mediterranean world had long been a world of heterogeneous peoples. Africans, southern Europeans, and peoples of the Middle East have interacted and interbred over thousands of years, as long as humans have occupied these regions. The Iberian peoples brought their customs and habits to the New World. There, as described above, intermating among Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans soon began to produce a population of “mixed” peoples. The descendants of these peoples who entered the United States since the mid-20th century further confound “racial” categories for those who believe in them.

U.S. military personnel fighting in the Persian Gulf region were startled to see that many Saudi Arabians, Yemenis, Omanis, and other peoples in the Middle East resembled African Americans or Africans in their skin colour, hair texture, and facial features. Many Southeast Asians and Middle Easterners have found that they are frequently mistaken for Blacks in America. Some American Indians are mistaken for Chinese, Japanese, or other Asian ethnic groups on the basis of their skin colour, eye structure, and hair colour and texture. Some Central and South Americans and many Puerto Ricans are perceived as Arabs. In like manner, many Arab Americans or Persians are thought to be Latinos. “Race” is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.

Clearly, physical features are insufficient clues to a person’s ethnic identity. They reveal nothing about a person’s culture, language, religion, and values. Sixth-generation Chinese Americans have American ethnicity many know little or nothing about traditional Chinese culture, just as European Americans and African Americans may know little or nothing about the cultures of their ancestors. Moreover, all cultures change, and they do so independently of the biogenetic features of their carriers.


Technically speaking, the first navigable submarine was invented in 1620 by Dutchman Cornelis Drebbel. Built for the English Royal Navy, Drebbel’s submarine could stay submerged for up to three hours and was propelled by oars. However, the submarine was never used in combat, and it wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that designs leading to practical and widely used submersible vehicles were realized.

Along the way, there were important milestones such as the launch of the hand-powered, egg-shaped "Turtle" in 1776, the first military submarine used in combat. There was also the French Navy submarine "Plongeur," the first mechanically powered submarine.

Finally, in 1888, the Spanish Navy launched the "Peral," the first electric, battery-powered submarine, which also so happened to be the first fully capable military submarine. Built by a Spanish engineer and sailor named Isaac Peral, it was equipped with a torpedo tube, two torpedoes, an air regeneration system, and the first fully reliable underwater navigation system, and it posted an underwater speed of 3.5 miles per hour.


Pre-modern Edit

The Ainu are the native people of Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and the Kurils. Early Ainu-speaking groups (mostly hunters and fishermen) migrated also into the Kamchatka Peninsula and into Honshu, where their descendants are today known as the Matagi hunters, which still use a large amount of Ainu vocabulary in their dialect. Other evidence for Ainu-speaking hunters and fishermen migrating down from northern Hokkaido into Honshu is through the Ainu toponyms which are found in several places of northern Honshu, mostly among the western coast and the Tōhoku region. Evidence for Ainu-speakers in the Amur region is found through Ainu loanwords in the Uilta and Ulch people. [11]

Recent research suggests that Ainu culture originated from a merger of the Okhotsk and Satsumon cultures. [12] [13] According to Lee and Hasegawa, the Ainu-speakers descend from the Okhotsk people which rapidly expanded from northern Hokkaido into the Kurils and Honshu. These early inhabitants did not speak the Japanese language some were conquered by the Japanese early in the 9th century. [14] In 1264, the Ainu invaded the land of the Nivkh people. The Ainu also started an expedition into the Amur region, which was then controlled by the Yuan Dynasty, resulting in reprisals by the Mongols who invaded Sakhalin. [15] [16] Active contact between the Wa-jin (the ethnically Japanese, also known as Yamato-jin) and the Ainu of Ezogashima (now known as Hokkaidō) began in the 13th century. [17] The Ainu formed a society of hunter-gatherers, surviving mainly by hunting and fishing. They followed a religion which was based on natural phenomena. [18]

During the Muromachi period (1336–1573), many Ainu were subject to Japanese rule. Disputes between the Japanese and Ainu developed into large-scale violence, Koshamain's Revolt, in 1456. Takeda Nobuhiro killed the Ainu leader, Koshamain.

During the Edo period (1601–1868) the Ainu, who controlled the northern island which is now named Hokkaidō, became increasingly involved in trade with the Japanese who controlled the southern portion of the island. The Tokugawa bakufu (feudal government) granted the Matsumae clan exclusive rights to trade with the Ainu in the northern part of the island. Later, the Matsumae began to lease out trading rights to Japanese merchants, and contact between Japanese and Ainu became more extensive. Throughout this period Ainu groups competed with each other to import goods from the Japanese, and epidemic diseases such as smallpox reduced the population. [19] Although the increased contact created by the trade between the Japanese and the Ainu contributed to increased mutual understanding, it also led to conflict which occasionally intensified into violent Ainu revolts. The most important was Shakushain's Revolt (1669–1672), an Ainu rebellion against Japanese authority. Another large-scale revolt by Ainu against Japanese rule was the Menashi-Kunashir Battle in 1789.

From 1799 to 1806, the shogunate took direct control of southern Hokkaidō. Ainu men were deported to merchant subcontractors for five and ten-year terms of service, and were enticed with rewards of food and clothing if they agreed to drop their native language and culture and become Japanese. Ainu women were separated from their husbands and forcibly married to Japanese merchants and fishermen, who were told that a taboo forbade them from bringing their wives to Hokkaidō. Women were often tortured if they resisted rape by their new Japanese husbands, and frequently ran away into the mountains. These policies of family separation and forcible assimilation, combined with the impact of smallpox, caused the Ainu population to drop significantly in the early 19th century. [20]

Meiji Restoration and later Edit

In the 18th century, there were 80,000 Ainu. [21] In 1868, there were about 15,000 Ainu in Hokkaidō, 2000 in Sakhalin and around 100 in the Kuril islands. [22]

The beginning of the Meiji Restoration in 1868 proved a turning point for Ainu culture. The Japanese government introduced a variety of social, political, and economic reforms in hope of modernizing the country in the Western style. One innovation involved the annexation of Hokkaidō. Sjöberg quotes Baba's (1890) account of the Japanese government's reasoning: [19]

. The development of Japan's large northern island had several objectives: First, it was seen as a means to defend Japan from a rapidly developing and expansionist Russia. Second . it offered a solution to the unemployment for the former samurai class . Finally, development promised to yield the needed natural resources for a growing capitalist economy. [23]

In 1899, the Japanese government passed an act labelling the Ainu as "former aborigines", with the idea they would assimilate—this resulted in the Japanese government taking the land where the Ainu people lived and placing it from then on under Japanese control. [24] Also at this time, the Ainu were granted automatic Japanese citizenship, effectively denying them the status of an indigenous group.

The Ainu were becoming increasingly marginalized on their own land—over a period of only 36 years, the Ainu went from being a relatively isolated group of people to having their land, language, religion and customs assimilated into those of the Japanese. [25] In addition to this, the land the Ainu lived on was distributed to the Wa-Jin who had decided to move to Hokkaidō, encouraged by the Japanese government of the Meiji era to take advantage of the island's abundant natural resources, and to create and maintain farms in the model of Western industrial agriculture. While at the time, the process was openly referred to as colonization ( 拓殖 , takushoku) , the notion was later reframed by Japanese elites to the currently common usage 開拓 (kaitaku) , which instead conveys a sense of opening up or reclamation of the Ainu lands. [26] As well as this, factories such as flour mills, beer breweries and mining practices resulted in the creation of infrastructure such as roads and railway lines, during a development period that lasted until 1904. [27] During this time, the Ainu were forced to learn Japanese, required to adopt Japanese names, and ordered to cease religious practices such as animal sacrifice and the custom of tattooing. [28]

The same act applied to the native Ainu on Sakhalin after the Japanese annexion and incorporation of the Karafuto Prefecture. Some historians noted that the Ainu language was still an important lingua franca in Sakhalin. Asahi (2005) reported that the status of the Ainu language was rather high and was also used by early Russian and Japanese administrative officials to communicate with each other and with the indigenous people. [29]

The 1899 act was replaced in 1997—until then the government had stated there were no ethnic minority groups. [13] It was not until June 6, 2008, that Japan formally recognised the Ainu as an indigenous group (see § Official recognition in Japan). [13]

The vast majority of these Wa-Jin men are believed to have compelled Ainu women to partner with them as local wives. [30] Intermarriage between Japanese and Ainu was actively promoted by the Ainu to lessen the chances of discrimination against their offspring. As a result, many Ainu are indistinguishable from their Japanese neighbors, but some Ainu-Japanese are interested in traditional Ainu culture. For example, Oki, born as a child of an Ainu father and a Japanese mother, became a musician who plays the traditional Ainu instrument tonkori. [31] There are also many small towns in the southeastern or Hidaka region where ethnic Ainu live such as in Nibutani (Niputay). Many live in Sambutsu especially, on the eastern coast. In 1966 the number of "pure" Ainu was about 300. [32]

Their most widely known ethnonym is derived from the word "ainu", which means 'human' (particularly as opposed to kamui, divine beings). Ainu also identify themselves as "Utari" ('comrade' or 'people' in the Ainu language). Official documents use both names.

Official recognition in Japan Edit

On June 6, 2008, the government of Japan passed a bipartisan, non-binding resolution calling upon the government to recognize the Ainu people as indigenous to Hokkaido, and urging an end to discrimination against the group. The resolution recognized the Ainu people as "an indigenous people with a distinct language, religion and culture". The government immediately followed with a statement acknowledging its recognition, stating, "The government would like to solemnly accept the historical fact that many Ainu were discriminated against and forced into poverty with the advancement of modernization, despite being legally equal to (Japanese) people." [25] [33] In February 2019, the Japanese government consolidated the legal status of the Ainu people by passing a bill which officially recognizes the Ainu as an indigenous people, based on Article 14 of the Constitution, "all of the people are equal under the law" and bans discrimination by race. Furthermore, the bill aims at simplifying procedures for getting various permissions from authorities in regards to the traditional lifestyle of the Ainu and nurture the identity and cultures of the Ainu without defining the ethnic group by blood lineage. [34] A bill passed in April 2019 officially recognizes the Ainu of Hokkaidō as an indigenous people of Japan. [35]

According to the Asahi Shimbun, [36] the Ainu were due to participate in the opening ceremony of the Olympic games 2020 in Japan, but due to logistical constraints this was dropped in February 2020. [37]

Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park opened on July 12, 2020. The space was scheduled to open on April 24, 2020, prior to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games scheduled in the same year, in Shiraoi, Hokkaidō. The park will serve as base for the protection and promotion of Ainu people, culture and language. [38] The museum promotes the culture and habits of the Ainu people who are the original inhabitants of Hokkaidō. Upopoy in Ainu language means "singing in a large group". The National Ainu Museum building has images and videos exhibiting the history and daily life of the Ainu. [39]

Official recognition in Russia Edit

As a result of the Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1875), the Kuril Islands – along with their Ainu inhabitants – came under Japanese administration. A total of 83 North Kuril Ainu arrived in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on September 18, 1877, after they decided to remain under Russian rule. They refused the offer by Russian officials to move to new reservations in the Commander Islands. Finally a deal was reached in 1881 and the Ainu decided to settle in the village of Yavin. In March 1881, the group left Petropavlovsk and started the journey towards Yavin on foot. Four months later they arrived at their new homes. Another village, Golygino, was founded later. Under Soviet rule, both the villages were forced to disband and residents were moved to the Russian-dominated Zaporozhye rural settlement in Ust-Bolsheretsky Raion. [40] As a result of intermarriage, the three ethnic groups assimilated to form the Kamchadal community. In 1953, K. Omelchenko, the minister for the protection of military and state secrets in the USSR, banned the press from publishing any more information on the Ainu living in the USSR. This order was revoked after two decades. [41]

As of 2015 [update] , the North Kuril Ainu of Zaporozhye form the largest Ainu subgroup in Russia. The Nakamura clan (South Kuril Ainu on their paternal side), the smallest group, numbers just six people residing in Petropavlovsk. On Sakhalin island, a few dozen people identify themselves as Sakhalin Ainu, but many more with partial Ainu ancestry do not acknowledge it. Most of the 888 Japanese people living in Russia (2010 Census) are of mixed Japanese–Ainu ancestry, although they do not acknowledge it (full Japanese ancestry gives them the right of visa-free entry to Japan. [42] ) Similarly, no one identifies themselves as Amur Valley Ainu, although people with partial descent live in Khabarovsk. There is no evidence of living descendants of the Kamchatka Ainu.

In the 2010 Census of Russia, close to 100 people tried to register themselves as ethnic Ainu in the village, but the governing council of Kamchatka Krai rejected their claim and enrolled them as ethnic Kamchadal. [41] [43] In 2011, the leader of the Ainu community in Kamchatka, Alexei Vladimirovich Nakamura, requested that Vladimir Ilyukhin (Governor of Kamchatka) and Boris Nevzorov (Chairman of the State Duma) include the Ainu in the central list of the Indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East. This request was also turned down. [44]

Ethnic Ainu living in Sakhalin Oblast and Khabarovsk Krai are not organized politically. According to Alexei Nakamura, as of 2012 [update] only 205 Ainu live in Russia (up from just 12 people who self-identified as Ainu in 2008) and they along with the Kurile Kamchadals (Itelmen of Kuril islands) are fighting for official recognition. [45] [46] Since the Ainu are not recognized in the official list of the peoples living in Russia, they are counted as people without nationality or as ethnic Russians or Kamchadal. [47]

The Ainu have emphasized that they were the natives of the Kuril islands and that the Japanese and Russians were both invaders. [48] In 2004, the small Ainu community living in Russia in Kamchatka Krai wrote a letter to Vladimir Putin, urging him to reconsider any move to award the Southern Kuril Islands to Japan. In the letter they blamed the Japanese, the Tsarist Russians and the Soviets for crimes against the Ainu such as killings and assimilation, and also urged him to recognize the Japanese genocide against the Ainu people—which was turned down by Putin. [49]

As of 2012 [update] both the Kuril Ainu and Kuril Kamchadal ethnic groups lack the fishing and hunting rights which the Russian government grants to the indigenous tribal communities of the far north. [50] [51]

In March 2017, Alexei Nakamura revealed that plans for an Ainu village to be created in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and plans for an Ainu dictionary are underway. [52]

The Ainu have often been considered to descend from the diverse Jōmon people, who lived in northern Japan from the Jōmon period [53] (c. 14,000 to 300 BCE). One of their Yukar Upopo, or legends, tells that "[t]he Ainu lived in this place a hundred thousand years before the Children of the Sun came". [23]

Recent research suggests that the historical Ainu culture originated from a merger of the Okhotsk culture with the Satsumon culture, cultures thought to have derived from the diverse Jōmon-period cultures of the Japanese archipelago. [54] [55]

The Ainu economy was based on farming, as well as on hunting, fishing and gathering. [56]

According to Lee and Hasegawa of the Waseda University, the direct ancestors of the later Ainu people formed during the late Jōmon period from the combination of the local but diverse population of Hokkaido, long before the arrival of contemporary Japanese people. Lee and Hasegawa suggest that the Ainu language expanded from northern Hokkaido and may have originated from a relative more recent Northeast Asian/Okhotsk population, which established themselves in northern Hokkaido and had significant impact on the formation of Hokkaido's Jōmon culture. [57] [58]

The linguist and historian Joran Smale similarly found that the Ainu language likely originated from the ancient Okhotsk people, which had strong cultural influence on the "Epi-Jōmon" of southern Hokkaido and northern Honshu, but that the Ainu people themselves formed from the combination of both ancient groups. Additionally he notes that the historical distribution of Ainu dialects and its specific vocabulary correspond to the distribution of the maritime Okhotsk culture. [59]

Recently in 2021, it was confirmed that the Hokkaido Jōmon people formed from "Jōmon tribes of Honshu" and from "Terminal Upper-Paleolithic people" (TUP people) indigenous to Hokkaido and Paleolithic Northern Eurasia. The Honshu Jōmon groups arrived about 15,000 BC and merged with the indigenous "TUP people" to form the Hokkaido Jōmon. The Ainu in turn formed from the Hokkaido Jōmon and from the Okhotsk people. [60]

Genetics Edit

Paternal lineages Edit

Genetic testing has shown that the Ainu belong mainly to Y-DNA haplogroup D-M55 (D1a2) and C-M217. [61] Y DNA haplogroup D M55 is found throughout the Japanese Archipelago, but with very high frequencies among the Ainu of Hokkaidō in the far north, and to a lesser extent among the Ryukyuans in the Ryukyu Islands of the far south. [62] Recently it was confirmed that the Japanese branch of haplogroup D M55 is distinct and isolated from other D branches for more than 53,000 years. [63]

Several studies (Hammer et al. 2006, Shinoda 2008, Matsumoto 2009, Cabrera et al. 2018) suggest that haplogroup D originated somewhere in Central Asia. According to Hammer et al., the ancestral haplogroup D originated between Tibet and the Altai mountains. He suggests that there were multiple waves into Eastern Eurasia. [64]

A study by Tajima et al. (2004) found two out of a sample of sixteen Ainu men (or 12.5%) belong to Haplogroup C M217, which is the most common Y chromosome haplogroup among the indigenous populations of Siberia and Mongolia. [61] Hammer et al. (2006) found that one in a sample of four Ainu men belonged to haplogroup C M217. [65]

Maternal lineages Edit

In addition, haplogroups D4, D5, M7b, M9a, M10, G, A, B, and F have been found in Jōmon people as well. [69] [70] These mtDNA haplogroups were found in various Jōmon samples and in some modern Japanese people. [71]

Autosomal DNA Edit

A 2004 reevaluation of cranial traits suggests that the Ainu resemble the Okhotsk more than they do the Jōmon. [72] This agrees with the references to the Ainu as a merger of Okhotsk and Satsumon referenced above. Similarly more recent studies link the Ainu to the local Hokkaido Jōmon period samples, such as the 3,800 year old Rebun sample. [73] [74]

Genetic analyses of HLA I and HLA II genes as well as HLA-A, -B, and -DRB1 gene frequencies links the Ainu to some Indigenous peoples of the Americas. The scientists suggest that the main ancestor of the Ainu and of Native Americans can be traced back to Paleolithic groups in Siberia. [75]

Hideo Matsumoto (2009) suggested, based on immunoglobulin analyses, that the Ainu (and Jōmon) have a Siberian origin. Compared with other East Asian populations, the Ainu have the highest amount of Siberian (immunoglobulin) components, higher than mainland Japanese people. [76]

A 2012 genetic study has revealed that the closest genetic relatives of the Ainu are the Ryukyuan people, followed by the Yamato people and Nivkh. [5]

A genetic study by Kanazawa-Kiriyama in 2013 found that the Ainu people (including samples from Hokkaido and Tōhoku) are closer to ancient and modern Northeast Asians (especially Udege people of eastern Siberia) than opposed to the geographically close Kantō Jōmon period samples. According to the authors, these results add to the internal-diversity observed among the Jōmon period population and that a significant percentage of the Jōmon period people had ancestry from a Northeast Asian source population, suggested to be the source of the proto-Ainu language and culture, which is not detected in samples from Kantō. [77]

A genetic analysis in 2016 showed that although the Ainu have some genetic relations to the Japanese people and Eastern Siberians (especially Itelmens and Chukchis), they are not closely related to any modern ethnic group. Further, the study detected genetic contribution from the Ainu to populations around the Sea of Okhotsk but no genetic influence on the Ainu themselves. According to the study, the Ainu-like genetic contribution in the Ulch people is about 17.8% or 13.5% and about 27.2% in the Nivkhs. The study also disproved the idea about a relation to Andamanese or Tibetans instead, it presented evidence of gene flow between the Ainu and "lowland East Asian farmer populations" (represented in the study by the Ami and Atayal in Taiwan, and the Dai and Lahu in Mainland East Asia). [78]

A genetic study in 2016 about historical Ainu samples from southern Sakhalin (8) and northern Hokkaido (4), found that these samples were closely related to ancient Okhotsk people and various other Northeast Asians, such as indigenous populations in Kamchatka (Itelmens) and North America. The authors conclude that this points to heterogeneity among Ainu, as other studies reported a rather isolated position of analyzed Ainu samples of southern Hokkaido. [79]

Recent autosomal evidence suggests that the Ainu derive a majority of their ancestry from the local Jōmon period people of Hokkaido. A 2019 study by Gakuhari et al., analyzing ancient Jōmon remains, finds about 79.3% Hokkaido Jōmon ancestry in the Ainu. [80] Another 2019 study (by Kanazawa-Kiriyama et al.) finds about 66%. [81]

Physical description Edit

Ainu men have abundant wavy hair and often have long beards. [82]

The book of Ainu Life and Legends by author Kyōsuke Kindaichi (published by the Japanese Tourist Board in 1942) contains a physical description of Ainu: "Many have wavy hair, but some straight black hair. Very few of them have wavy brownish hair. Their skins are generally reported to be light brown. But this is due to the fact that they labor on the sea and in briny winds all day. Old people who have long desisted from their outdoor work are often found to be as white as western men. The Ainu have broad faces, beetling eyebrows, and large sunken eyes, which are generally horizontal and of the so-called European type. Eyes of the Mongolian type are hardly found among them." [ citation needed ]

A study by Kura et al. 2014 based on cranial and genetic characteristics suggests a predominantly Northeastern Asian ("Arctic") origin for the majority of Ainu people. Thus, despite some Ainu having morphological similarities to Caucasoid populations, the Ainu are essentially of North Asiatic origin. Genetic evidence support a relation with Arctic populations, such as the Chukchi people. [83]

A study by Omoto has shown that the Ainu are more related to other East Asian groups (previously mentioned as 'Mongoloid') than to Western Eurasian groups (formerly termed as "Caucasian"), on the basis of fingerprints and dental morphology. [84]

A study published in the scientific journal "Nature" by Jinam et al. 2015, using genome-wide SNP data comparison, found that the some Ainu have gene alleles associated with facial features which are commonly found among Europeans but absent from Japanese people and other East Asians, but these alleles are not found in all tested Ainu samples. These alleles are the reason for their pseudo-Caucasian appearance and likely arrived from Paleolithic Siberia. [85]

In 2021, it was confirmed that the Hokkaido Jōmon population formed from "Terminal Upper-Paleolithic people" (TUP) indigenous to Hokkaido and Northern Eurasia and from migrants of Jōmon period Honshu. The Ainu themselves formed from these heterogeneous Hokkaido Jōmon and from a more recent Northeast Asian/Okhotsk population. [86]

Russo-Japanese War Edit

Ainu men were first recruited into the Japanese military in 1898. [87] Sixty-four Ainu served in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), eight of whom died in battle or from illness contracted during military service. Two received the Order of the Golden Kite, granted for bravery, leadership or command in battle.

Second World War Edit

During World War II, Australian troops engaged in the hard-fought Kokoda Track campaign (July–November 1942) in New Guinea, were surprised by the physique and fighting prowess of the first Japanese troops they encountered.

During that day's fighting [30 August 1942] we saw many Japanese of large physique, powerfully built men of six feet and over. These tough assault troops came from Hokkaidō, a northern Japanese island of freezing winters, where the bears roamed freely. They were known in their own country as "Dosanko" a name for horses from Hokkaidō, and they withstood splendidly the harsh climate of the Owen Stanley Range. A 2/14th Battalion officer said to me: "I couldn't believe it when I saw these big bastards bearing down on us. I thought they must be Germans in disguise." [88]

In 2008 Hohmann gave an estimate of fewer than 100 remaining speakers of the language [89] other research (Vovin 1993) placed the number at fewer than 15 speakers. Vovin has characterised the language as "almost extinct". [90] As a result of this, the study of the Ainu language is limited and is based largely on historical research.

Despite the small number of native speakers of Ainu, there is an active movement to revitalize the language, mainly in Hokkaidō, but also elsewhere such as Kanto. [91] Ainu oral literature has been documented both in hopes of safeguarding it for future generations, as well as using it as a teaching tool for language learners. [92] As of 2011 there has been an increasing number of second-language learners, especially in Hokkaidō, in large part due to the pioneering efforts of the late Ainu folklorist, activist and former Diet member Shigeru Kayano, himself a native speaker, who first opened an Ainu language school in 1987 funded by Ainu Kyokai. [93]

Although some researchers have attempted to show that the Ainu language and the Japanese language are related, modern scholars have rejected the idea that the relationship goes beyond contact (such as the mutual borrowing of words between Japanese and Ainu). No attempt to show a relationship with Ainu to any other language has gained wide acceptance, and linguists currently classify Ainu as a language isolate. [94] Most Ainu people speak either the Japanese language or the Russian language.

Concepts expressed with prepositions (such as to, from, by, in, and at) in English appear as postpositional forms in Ainu (postpositions come after the word that they modify). A single sentence in Ainu can comprise many added or agglutinated sounds or affixes that represent nouns or ideas.

The Ainu language has had no indigenous system of writing, and has historically been transliterated using the Japanese kana or Russian Cyrillic. As of 2019 [update] it is typically written either in katakana or in the Latin alphabet.

Many of the Ainu dialects, even those from different extremities of Hokkaidō, were not mutually intelligible however, all Ainu speakers understood the classic Ainu language of the Yukar, or epic stories. Without a writing system, the Ainu were masters of narration, with the Yukar and other forms of narration such as the Uepeker (Uwepeker) tales being committed to memory and related at gatherings which often lasted many hours or even days. [95]

    a machine-translated version of the Japanese article.
  • Machine translation like DeepL or Google Translate is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia.
  • Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 2,583 articles in the main category, and specifying |topic= will aid in categorization.
  • Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article.
  • You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary Content in this edit is translated from the existing Japanese Wikipedia article at [[:ja:アイヌ文化]] see its history for attribution.
  • You should also add the template <> to the talk page.
  • For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.

Traditional Ainu culture was quite different from Japanese culture. According to Tanaka Sakurako from the University of British Columbia, the Ainu culture can be included into a wider "northern circumpacific region", referring to various indigenous cultures of Northeast Asia and "beyond the Bering Strait" in North America. [96]

Never shaving after a certain age, the men had full beards and moustaches. Men and women alike cut their hair level with the shoulders at the sides of the head, trimmed semicircularly behind. The women tattooed their mouths, and sometimes the forearms. The mouth tattoos were started at a young age with a small spot on the upper lip, gradually increasing with size. The soot deposited on a pot hung over a fire of birch bark was used for colour. Their traditional dress was a robe spun from the inner bark of the elm tree, called attusi or attush. Various styles were made, and consisted generally of a simple short robe with straight sleeves, which was folded around the body, and tied with a band about the waist. The sleeves ended at the wrist or forearm and the length generally was to the calves. Women also wore an undergarment of Japanese cloth. [97]

Modern craftswomen weave and embroider traditional garments that command very high prices. In winter the skins of animals were worn, with leggings of deerskin and in Sakhalin, boots were made from the skin of dogs or salmon. [98] Ainu culture considers earrings, traditionally made from grapevines, to be gender neutral. Women also wear a beaded necklace called a tamasay. [97]

Their traditional cuisine consists of the flesh of bear, fox, wolf, badger, ox, or horse, as well as fish, fowl, millet, vegetables, herbs, and roots. They never ate raw fish or flesh it was always boiled or roasted. [97]

Their traditional habitations were reed-thatched huts, the largest 20 ft (6 m) square, without partitions and having a fireplace in the center. There was no chimney, only a hole at the angle of the roof there was one window on the eastern side and there were two doors. The house of the village head was used as a public meeting place when one was needed. [97] Another kind of traditional Ainu house was called chise. [99]

Instead of using furniture, they sat on the floor, which was covered with two layers of mats, one of rush, the other of a water plant with long sword shaped leaves (Iris pseudacorus) and for beds they spread planks, hanging mats around them on poles, and employing skins for coverlets. The men used chopsticks when eating the women had wooden spoons. [97] Ainu cuisine is not commonly eaten outside Ainu communities only a few restaurants in Japan serve traditional Ainu dishes, mainly in Tokyo [100] and Hokkaidō. [101]

The functions of judgeship were not entrusted to chiefs an indefinite number of a community's members sat in judgment upon its criminals. Capital punishment did not exist, nor did the community resort to imprisonment. Beating was considered a sufficient and final penalty. However, in the case of murder, the nose and ears of the culprit were cut off or the tendons of his feet severed. [97]

Hunting Edit

The Ainu hunted from late autumn to early summer. [102] The reasons for this were, among others, that in late autumn, plant gathering, salmon fishing and other activities of securing food came to an end, and hunters readily found game in fields and mountains in which plants had withered.

A village possessed a hunting ground of its own or several villages used a joint hunting territory (iwor). [103] Heavy penalties were imposed on any outsiders trespassing on such hunting grounds or joint hunting territory.

The Ainu hunted bear, Ezo deer (a subspecies of sika deer), rabbit, fox, raccoon dog, and other animals. [104] [ self-published source? ] Ezo deer were a particularly important food resource for the Ainu, as were salmon. [105] They also hunted sea eagles such as white-tailed sea eagles, raven and other birds. [106] The Ainu hunted eagles to obtain their tail feathers, which they used in trade with the Japanese. [107]

The Ainu hunted with arrows and spears with poison-coated points. [108] They obtained the poison, called surku, from the roots and stalks of aconites. [109] The recipe for this poison was a household secret that differed from family to family. They enhanced the poison with mixtures of roots and stalks of dog's bane, boiled juice of Mekuragumo (a type of harvestman), Matsumomushi (Notonecta triguttata, a species of backswimmer), tobacco and other ingredients. They also used stingray stingers or skin covering stingers. [110]

They hunted in groups with dogs. [111] Before the Ainu went hunting, particularly for bear and similar animals, they prayed to the god of fire, the house guardian god, to convey their wishes for a large catch, and to the god of mountains for safe hunting. [112]

The Ainu usually hunted bear during the spring thaw. At that time, bears were weak because they had not fed at all during their long hibernation. Ainu hunters caught hibernating bears or bears that had just left hibernation dens. [113] When they hunted bear in summer, they used a spring trap loaded with an arrow, called an amappo. [113] The Ainu usually used arrows to hunt deer. [114] Also, they drove deer into a river or sea and shot them with arrows. For a large catch, a whole village would drive a herd of deer off a cliff and club them to death. [115]

Fishing Edit

Fishing was important for the Ainu. They largely caught trout, primarily in summer, and salmon in autumn, as well as "ito" (Japanese huchen), dace and other fish. Spears called "marek" were often used. Other methods were "tesh" fishing, "uray" fishing and "rawomap" fishing. Many villages were built near rivers or along the coast. Each village or individual had a definite river fishing territory. Outsiders could not freely fish there and needed to ask the owner. [116]

Ornaments Edit

Men wore a crown called sapanpe for important ceremonies. Sapanpe was made from wood fibre with bundles of partially shaved wood. This crown had wooden figures of animal gods and other ornaments on its centre. [117] Men carried an emush (ceremonial sword) [118] secured by an emush at strap to their shoulders. [119]

Women wore matanpushi, embroidered headbands, and ninkari, earrings. Ninkari was a metal ring with a ball. Matanpushi and ninkari were originally worn by men. Furthermore, aprons called maidari now are a part of women's formal clothes. However, some old documents say that men wore maidari. [ citation needed ] Women sometimes wore a bracelet called tekunkani. [120]

Women wore a necklace called rektunpe, a long, narrow strip of cloth with metal plaques. [117] They wore a necklace that reached the breast called a tamasay or shitoki, usually made from glass balls. Some glass balls came from trade with the Asian continent. The Ainu also obtained glass balls secretly made by the Matsumae clan. [121]

Housing Edit

A village is called a kotan in the Ainu language. Kotan were located in river basins and seashores where food was readily available, particularly in the basins of rivers through which salmon went upstream. In the early modern times, the Ainu people were forced to labor at the fishing grounds of the Japanese. Ainu kotan were also forced to move near fishing grounds so that the Japanese could secure a labor force. When the Japanese moved to other fishing grounds, Ainu kotan were also forced to accompany them. As a result, the traditional kotan disappeared and large villages of several dozen families were formed around the fishing grounds. [ citation needed ]

Cise or cisey (houses) in a kotan were made of cogon grass, bamboo grass, bark, etc. The length lay east to west or parallel to a river. A house was about seven meters by five with an entrance at the west end that also served as a storeroom. The house had three windows, including the "rorun-puyar," a window located on the side facing the entrance (at the east side), through which gods entered and left and ceremonial tools were taken in and out. The Ainu have regarded this window as sacred and have been told never to look in through it. A house had a fireplace near the entrance. The husband and wife sat on the fireplace's left side (called shiso) . Children and guests sat facing them on the fireplace's right side (called harkiso). The house had a platform for valuables called iyoykir behind the shiso. The Ainu placed sintoko (hokai) and ikayop (quivers) there. [ citation needed ]

Ainu houses (from Popular Science Monthly Volume 33, 1888).

The family would gather around the fireplace.

Interior of the house of Ainu - Saru River basin.

Traditions Edit

The Ainu people had various types of marriage. A child was promised in marriage by arrangement between his or her parents and the parents of his or her betrothed or by a go-between. When the betrothed reached a marriageable age, they were told who their spouse was to be. There were also marriages based on mutual consent of both sexes. [122] In some areas, when a daughter reached a marriageable age, her parents let her live in a small room called tunpu annexed to the southern wall of her house. [123] The parents chose her spouse from men who visited her.

The age of marriage was 17 to 18 years of age for men and 15 to 16 years of age for women, [117] who were tattooed. At these ages, both sexes were regarded as adults. [124]

When a man proposed to a woman, he visited her house, ate half a full bowl of rice handed to him by her, and returned the rest to her. If the woman ate the rest, she accepted his proposal. If she did not and put it beside her, she rejected his proposal. [117] When a man became engaged to a woman or they learned that their engagement had been arranged, they exchanged gifts. He sent her a small engraved knife, a workbox, a spool, and other gifts. She sent him embroidered clothes, coverings for the back of the hand, leggings and other handmade clothes. [125]

The worn-out fabric of old clothing was used for baby clothes because soft cloth was good for the skin of babies and worn-out material protected babies from gods of illness and demons due to these gods' abhorrence of dirty things. Before a baby was breast-fed, they were given a decoction of the endodermis of alder and the roots of butterburs to discharge impurities. [126] Children were raised almost naked until about the ages of four to five. Even when they wore clothes, they did not wear belts and left the front of their clothes open. Subsequently, they wore bark clothes without patterns, such as attush, until coming of age.

Newborn babies were named ayay (a baby's crying), [127] shipo, poyshi (small excrement), and shion (old excrement). Children were called by these "temporary" names until the ages of two to three. They were not given permanent names when they were born. [127] Their tentative names had a portion meaning "excrement" or "old things" to ward off the demon of ill-health. Some children were named based on their behaviour or habits. Other children were named after impressive events or after parents' wishes for the future of the children. When children were named, they were never given the same names as others. [128]

Men wore loincloths and had their hair dressed properly for the first time at age 15–16. Women were also considered adults at the age of 15–16. They wore underclothes called mour [129] and had their hair dressed properly and wound waistcloths called raunkut and ponkut around their bodies. [130] When women reached age 12–13, the lips, hands and arms were tattooed. When they reached age 15–16, their tattoos were completed. Thus were they qualified for marriage. [124]

The Ainu are traditionally animists, believing that everything in nature has a kamuy (spirit or god) on the inside. The most important include Kamuy-huci , goddess of the hearth, Kim-un-kamuy , god of bears and mountains, and Repun Kamuy , god of the sea, fishing, and marine animals. [131] Kotan-kar-kamuy is regarded as the creator of the world in the Ainu religion. [132]

The Ainu have no priests by profession instead the village chief performs whatever religious ceremonies are necessary. Ceremonies are confined to making libations of sake, saying prayers, and offering willow sticks with wooden shavings attached to them. [97] These sticks are called inaw (singular) and nusa (plural).

They are placed on an altar used to "send back" the spirits of killed animals. Ainu ceremonies for sending back bears are called Iyomante. The Ainu people give thanks to the gods before eating and pray to the deity of fire in time of sickness. They believe that their spirits are immortal, and that their spirits will be rewarded hereafter by ascending to kamuy mosir (Land of the Gods). [97]

The Ainu are part of a larger collective of indigenous people who practice "arctolatry" or bear worship. The Ainu believe that the bear holds particular importance as Kim-un Kamuy 's chosen method of delivering the gift of the bear's hide and meat to humans.

John Batchelor reported that the Ainu view the world as being a spherical ocean on which float many islands, a view based on the fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. He wrote that they believe the world rests on the back of a large fish, which when it moves causes earthquakes. [133]

Ainu assimilated into mainstream Japanese society have adopted Buddhism and Shintō, while some northern Ainu were converted as members of the Russian Orthodox Church. Regarding Ainu communities in Shikotanto ( 色丹 ) and other areas that fall within the Russian sphere of cultural influence, there have been cases of church construction as well as reports that some Ainu have decided to profess their Christian faith. [134] There have also been reports that the Russian Orthodox Church has performed some missionary projects in the Sakhalin Ainu community. However, not many people have converted and there are only reports of several persons who have converted. Converts have been scorned as "Nutsa Ainu" (Russian Ainu) by other members of the Ainu community. Even so, the reports indicate that many Ainu have kept their faith in the deities of ancient times. [135]

According to a 2012 survey conducted by Hokkaidō University, a high percentage of Ainu are members of their household family religion which is Buddhism (especially Nichiren Shōshū Buddhism). However, it is pointed out that similar to the Japanese religious consciousness, there is not a strong feeling of identification with a particular religion. [136]

Most Hokkaidō Ainu and some other Ainu are members of an umbrella group called the Hokkaidō Utari Association. It was originally controlled by the government to speed Ainu assimilation and integration into the Japanese nation-state. It now is run exclusively by Ainu and operates mostly independently of the government.

Other key institutions include The Foundation for Research and Promotion of Ainu Culture (FRPAC), set up by the Japanese government after enactment of the Ainu Culture Law in 1997, the Hokkaidō University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies [137] established in 2007, as well as museums and cultural centers. Ainu people living in Tokyo have also developed a vibrant political and cultural community. [138] [139]

Since late 2011, the Ainu have cultural exchange and cultural cooperation with the Sámi people of northern Europe. Both the Sámi and the Ainu participate in the organization for Arctic indigenous peoples and the Sámi research office in Lapland (Finland). [140]

Currently, there are several Ainu museums and cultural parks. The most famous are: [141]

Litigation Edit

On March 27, 1997, the Sapporo District Court decided a landmark case that, for the first time in Japanese history, recognized the right of the Ainu people to enjoy their distinct culture and traditions. The case arose because of a 1978 government plan to build two dams in the Saru River watershed in southern Hokkaidō. The dams were part of a series of development projects under the Second National Development Plan that were intended to industrialize the north of Japan. [142] The planned location for one of the dams was across the valley floor close to Nibutani village, [143] the home of a large community of Ainu people and an important center of Ainu culture and history. [144] In the early 1980s when the government commenced construction on the dam, two Ainu landowners refused to agree to the expropriation of their land. These landowners were Kaizawa Tadashi and Kayano Shigeru—well-known and important leaders in the Ainu community. [145] After Kaizawa and Kayano declined to sell their land, the Hokkaidō Development Bureau applied for and was subsequently granted a Project Authorization, which required the men to vacate their land. When their appeal of the Authorization was denied, Kayano and Kaizawa's son Koichii (Kaizawa died in 1992), filed suit against the Hokkaidō Development Bureau.

The final decision denied the relief sought by the plaintiffs for pragmatic reasons—the dam was already standing—but the decision was nonetheless heralded as a landmark victory for the Ainu people. In short, nearly all of the plaintiffs' claims were recognized. Moreover, the decision marked the first time Japanese case law acknowledged the Ainu as an indigenous people and contemplated the responsibility of the Japanese nation to the indigenous people within its borders. [143] : 442 The decision included broad fact-finding that underscored the long history of the oppression of the Ainu people by Japan's majority, referred to as Wa-Jin in the case and discussions about the case. [143] [146] The legal roots of the decision can be found in Article 13 of Japan's Constitution, which protects the rights of the individual, and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. [147] [148] The decision was issued on March 27, 1997, and because of the broad implications for Ainu rights, the plaintiffs decided not to appeal the decision, which became final two weeks later. After the decision was issued, on May 8, 1997, the Diet passed the Ainu Culture Law and repealed the Ainu Protection Act—the 1899 law that had been the vehicle of Ainu oppression for almost one hundred years. [149] [150] While the Ainu Culture Law has been widely criticized for its shortcomings, the shift that it represents in Japan's view of the Ainu people is a testament to the importance of the Nibutani decision. In 2007 the 'Cultural Landscape along the Sarugawa River resulting from Ainu Tradition and Modern Settlement' was designated an Important Cultural Landscape. [151] A later action seeking restoration of Ainu assets held in trust by the Japanese Government was dismissed in 2008. [152]

Governmental advisory boards Edit

Much national policy in Japan has been developed out of the action of governmental advisory boards, known as shingikai ( 審議会 ) in Japanese. One such committee operated in the late 1990s, [153] and its work resulted in the 1997 Ainu Culture Law. [149] This panel's circumstances were criticized for including not even a single Ainu person among its members. [153]

More recently, a panel was established in 2006, which notably was the first time an Ainu person was included. It completed its work in 2008 issuing a major report that included an extensive historical record and called for substantial government policy changes towards the Ainu. [ citation needed ]

Formation of Ainu political party Edit

The Ainu Party ( アイヌ民族党 , Ainu minzoku tō) was founded on January 21, 2012, [154] after a group of Ainu activists in Hokkaidō announced the formation of a political party for the Ainu on October 30, 2011. The Ainu Association of Hokkaidō reported that Kayano Shiro, the son of the former Ainu leader Kayano Shigeru, will head the party. Their aim is to contribute to the realization of a multicultural and multiethnic society in Japan, along with rights for the Ainu. [155] [156]

Standard of living Edit

The Ainu have historically suffered from economic and social discrimination throughout Japan that continues to this day. The Japanese Government as well as people in contact with the Ainu, have in large part regarded them as a dirty, backwards and a primitive people. [157] The majority of Ainu were forced to be petty laborers during the Meiji Restoration, which saw the introduction of Hokkaidō into the Japanese Empire and the privatization of traditional Ainu lands. [158] The Japanese government during the 19th and 20th centuries denied the rights of the Ainu to their traditional cultural practices, most notably the right to speak their language, as well as their right to hunt and gather. [159] These policies were designed to fully integrate the Ainu into Japanese society with the cost of erasing Ainu culture and identity. The Ainu's position as manual laborers and their forced integration into larger Japanese society have led to discriminatory practices by the Japanese government that can still be felt today. [160] This discrimination and negative stereotypes assigned to the Ainu have manifested in the Ainu's lower levels of education, income levels and participation in the economy as compared to their ethnically Japanese counterparts. The Ainu community in Hokkaidō in 1993 received welfare payments at a 2.3 times higher rate, had an 8.9% lower enrollment rate from junior high school to high school and a 15.7% lower enrollment into college from high school than that of Hokkaidō as a whole. [158] The Japanese government has been lobbied by activists to research the Ainu's standard of living nationwide due to this noticeable and growing gap. The Japanese government will provide ¥7 million (US$63,000) beginning in 2015, to conduct surveys nationwide on this matter. [161]

The traditional locations of the Ainu are Hokkaido, Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, Kamchatka, and the northern Tohoku region. Many of the place names that remain in Hokkaido and the Kuril Islands have a phonetic equivalent of the Ainu place names. [ citation needed ]

In 1756 CE, Mitsugu Nyui was a kanjō-bugyō (a high-ranking Edo period official responsible for finance) of the Hirosaki Domain in the Tsugaru Peninsula. He implemented an assimilation policy for Ainu who were engaged in fishing in the Tsugaru Peninsula. Since then, Ainu culture was rapidly lost from Honshu. [ citation needed ]

After the Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1875), most of the Ainu from the Kuril islands were moved to the island Shikotan by persuading the pioneers for difficult life supplies and for defense purposes (Kurishima Cruise Diary). [ citation needed ]

In 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Japan and occupied Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. The Ainu who lived there were repatriated to their home country, Japan, except for those who indicated their willingness to remain. [162]

The population of the Ainu during the Edo period was a maximum of 26,800, but it has declined due to the epidemic of infectious diseases since it was regarded as a Tenryō territory.

According to the 1897 Russian census, 1,446 Ainu native speakers lived in Russian territory. [163]

Currently, there are no Ainu items in the Japanese national census, and no fact-finding has been conducted at national institutions. Therefore, the exact number of Ainu people is unknown. However, multiple surveys were conducted that provide an indication of the total population.

According to a 2006 Hokkaido Agency survey, there were 23,782 Ainu people in Hokkaido. [164] [165] When viewed by the branch office (currently the Promotion Bureau), there are many in the Iburi / Hidaka branch office. In addition, the definition of "Ainu" by the Hokkaido Agency in this survey is "a person who seems to have inherited the blood of Ainu" or "the same livelihood as those with marriage or adoption." Additionally, if it is denied that the other person is an Ainu then it is not subject to investigation.

According to a 1971 survey, there were 77,000 survey results. There is also a survey that the total number of Ainu living in Japan is 200,000. [1] However, there's no other survey that supports this estimate.

Many Ainu live outside Hokkaido. A 1988 survey estimated that the population of Ainu living in Tokyo was 2,700. [164] According to a 1989 survey report on Utari living in Tokyo, it is estimated that the area around Tokyo alone exceeds 10% of Ainu living in Hokkaido, and there are more than 10,000 Ainu living in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

In addition to Japan and Russia, it was reported in 1992 that there was a descendant of Kuril Ainu in Poland, but there are also indications that it is a descendant of the Aleut. [166] On the other hand, the descendant of the children born in Poland by the Polish anthropologist Bronisław Piłsudski, who was the leading Ainu researcher and left a vast amount of research material such as photographs and wax tubes, was born in Japan.

According to a 2017 survey, the Ainu population in Hokkaido is about 13,000. This has dropped sharply from 24,000 in 2006, but this is because the number of members of the Ainu Association of Hokkaido, which is cooperating with the survey, has decreased, and interest in protecting personal information has increased. It is thought that the number of people who cooperated is decreasing, and that it does not match the actual number of people. [167]

Subgroups Edit

These are unofficial sub groups of the Ainu people with location and population estimates. According to historical records and census only a small population of pure-blooded Ainu still exist. That amount continues to decrease. Many who claim Ainu heritage are multiracial.

Fifteen years on, what long-term Botox use looks like

CHRISTA Billich was one of the first people to use Botox when it arrived here 15 years ago. She reveals what it’s done to her face.

Christa Billich, known for her role on Real Housewives, has been using Botox for 15 years. Source:Instagram

IT’S enough to raise eyebrows. That is, if the eyebrows haven’t been paralysed.

Despite its omnipresence in pop culture and beauty mags, Botox has only been around for 15 years.

Yep, this month is the birthday of the game-changing, wrinkle-smoothing, injectable wonder, which — in April 2002 — got its official government go-ahead for cosmetic use, a move that turned it into one of the most successful pharmaceutical brands in history.

Since its introduction in Australia we’ve been ranked as one of the world’s biggest spenders on the injectable. And one of the very first Australians to undergo the procedure was colourful Sydney socialite — and both Melbourne and Sydney Real Housewives regular — Christa Billich.

“It was really just one of those things,” she remembers. 𠇊 cosmetic surgeon in LA was a collector of my husband, Charles’, work, and I remember him raving about Botox — the ease of the procedure and its little to no downtime. It sounded amazing and I was SO ready to have it done! So when I heard it was on its way to Sydney, I jumped on it.”

Christa Billich pictured recently with her husband Charles, a famous artist. Source:News Limited

Christa and Charles Billich in the year 2000, before Botox was available. Source:News Corp Australia

While admitting to undergoing various other procedures before the availability of Botox (“I wasn’t going to wait around for its miracles!”) she admits to being nervous ahead of her first injection.

“I’m not scared of needles, but I certainly don’t like them,” she says. “I had a champagne en route to the clinic — maybe two — which I𠆝 probably not recommended, but whatever works, right?

�ter the treatment, I was completely shocked when I looked in the mirror — I was expecting smooth skin right away, and instead had strange bumps where the needle had been. I was assured they𠆝 do gown and surely enough, they did.

“It took longer for the effects to kick in than I thought, but that’s how Botox works, it needs a little time to start working its magic. Wrinkles start to soften and they don’t start coming back, as long as you keep up with the treatments.”

Christa on The Real Housewives of Sydney. Picture: Foxtel Source:Foxtel

For Christa it marked the beginning of a 15-year-long love affair: “I was and am hooked!”

Christa, 70, doesn’t want to even contemplate what she𠆝 look like if Botox hadn’t come along when it did.

𠇊re you kidding, darling!” she laughs. “Never think about the what ifs. I’m very happy it arrived though. My face now looks natural, tight, smooth and youthful.”

Christa before Botox, in March 2000. Picture: Frank Violi Source:News Corp Australia

This facial rejuvenation is also something she credits with attracting the attentions of younger admirers.

“I think younger men think I’m younger than I really am because of it,” she says. “I get messages on my Facebook and Instagram from younger guys all the time, and there’s nothing to not like about that!”

Though married to her controversial artist husband, who made his millions by painting and sculpting nudes, the couple have an open relationship, which allows Christa to indulge in these cougar tendencies.

“We’re both open to dating others and have been throughout our marriage,” she reveals.

“We’ve been called ‘Sydney’s most famous swingers’, which is rather flattering. We just do what we want and, like Botox, if I want more, I can always have it,” she says with a wink.

Christa and Charles have a famously open relationship. Picture: Christian Gilles Source:News Corp Australia

Although the product’s use in the cosmetic world is still in its infancy, Botox has had a long history that stretches all the way to the 1820s when a German scientist discovered the first strains of the toxin in off sausages, while trying to ascertain how the rotten pork product was making people sick.

Seventy years later, another doctor — also investigating food poisoning — expanded on these findings, discovering seven strains of botulinum toxin, four of which were harmful to humans.

In the 1950s researchers discovered that injecting small amounts of one of the strains (Botulinum toxin type A) into hyperactive muscles relaxed them. Fast-forward to the 80s, the toxin was approved as a treatment for everything from facial spasms and eyelid twitching, to cerebral palsy.

It’s also around this time that it got its more user-friendly name: Botox. However, the real breakthrough for the injectable as a cosmetic was made in 1987 by two married Canadian doctors, who accidentally discovered the wrinkle-fighting properties of the toxin after noticing that patients who were receiving injections for facial spasms were also losing their frown lines.

Dr Rohit J Kumar, a Sydney-based cosmetic plastic surgeon and owner of Sydney Cosmetic Sanctuary, has been injecting patients with Botox since its introduction to the market and its quick uptake in Australia didn’t surprise him.

“It delivers clearly visible results,” he explains. “So it’s no surprise then that it was taken up so phenomenally. The longer you use it, the less new wrinkles form, plus the old ones are held at bay.”

Over its 15-year evolution, the price tag has seen a huge reduction meaning that the prospect of youth in a needle is in reach of most. In fact, nowadays, for many people a Botox top-up is as routine as a trip to the hairdresser.

𠇊t first it seemed to be only for the wealthy or Hollywood stars,” recalls Dr Kumar.

“In the early days many people who had the treatment went to pains denying that they had. It has been a very interesting journey … watching the destigmatisation of it.

“Now, it’s as much a part of their anti-ageing regimen as their skincare range and sunblock.”

Dr Kumar injecting Botox into one of his patients. Source:Supplied

Christa agrees. “It has come a long way,” she says. “It’s just something that’s part of my routine. And it’s not just women either, I’m seeing more men now than ever in clinics.”

Indeed, Botox for men, or 𠇋rotox” as it is now known, is a legitimate trend with more men, both here and overseas, undergoing the procedure.

“While women still outnumber the men in terms of patients, as Botox has become more and more normalised it is easier for men to discuss it and seek treatment,” says Dr Kumar.

While most studies show Botox to be very safe for long term use, there’s still a need for caution, particularly given the increasing number of injectors on the market as prices for treatments have plummeted over the years.

“Making it more accessible means there’s also an issue with quality control,” explains Dr Kumar.

“If the injector doesn’t have the appropriate training then it is easy to end up with asymmetry, also too much injected into a particular muscle can lead to it wasting away, leaving �nts’ or contour irregularities.”

Another solid reason for making sure that the practitioner is fully trained and experienced is the dreaded “poker” or “joker” face. Given its paralysing effects, a larger dose can rob the ability to express emotion, meaning that, when it comes to Botox, less is most definitely more.

For Christa, the only negative is its longevity: 𠇊part from a short hour or so of downtime to let the Botox soak into the skin there’s no downsides — except, it would be fabulous if it lasted longer!”

With the rapid progression of anti-ageing technology and the increasing introduction of new, cutting-edge treatments, will Botox be around in another 15 years’ time? Dr Kumar believes so, but perhaps in a different form.

“I think we’ll still be using it,” he says. “However, the way the product is delivered may change. I see a potential trend away from injections towards having Botox incorporated in a cream to make delivery easier and more regular. This can also be packed with more active ingredients that will combat ageing on more than one level.”

And until there’s a superior alternative, Christa is adamant that she’ll be getting her regular jab for the foreseeable future: “Not unless something more fabulous comes along!”

15 years later, Christa is loving it. Picture: Instagram Source:Instagram


  1. Onille

    Congratulations, what words ... wonderful thought

  2. Yehudi

    You are not right. Write to me in PM, we'll talk.

  3. Roweson

    Also what in that case it is necessary to do?

  4. Bay

    I cannot participate in the discussion now - no free time. Osvobozhus - make sure your opinion on this issue.

  5. Hardwin

    I apologise, but, in my opinion, you are mistaken. I can defend the position. Write to me in PM.

  6. Nikojin

    A completely coincidental coincidence

Write a message