This book began with conversations between Mark Hudson and Tomek Bogdanowicz in Sapporo in 2002. Bogdanowicz was then working on a visual anthropology project with Ainu people in Hokkaido and he and Hudson discussed how images of Ainu—both academic and popular—had changed so dramatically over the years. Bogdanowicz’s project addressed the problem of how Ainu represented their own images and voices and of the complex—and sometimes conflicting—roles of anthropologists and other academics in such representations.
In 2005, Bogdanowicz moved to New Zealand and new commitments meant that he had to step down from the editorial process of this volume. Hudson then asked lewallen and Watson to help bring the book to publication. Meanwhile, the following few years saw a series of significant and rapidly developing changes in the world of Ainu affairs. In 2007, Japan signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Hokkaido University established a Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies. The next year saw a Diet resolution recognizing Ainu as Indigenous in Japan. New research was also appearing in Indigenous studies outside Japan and Pamela Stern and Lisa Stevenson’s 2006 edited work, Critical Inuit Studies, was especially stimulating for our project. These and other related developments necessitated considerable rewriting and re-arranging of parts of this volume.
After 2007, it was clear that we were entering a dramatic new stage in Ainu Studies, but how best to characterize this new stage still remains unclear. Despite many positive developments, the status of Ainu as an Indigenous people in Japan remains contested and insecure. At the same time, there is no doubt that the new terrain has made it much easier to imagine and to talk about change and it is in this spirit that we have strived to edit the final version of this book.
(p.x) We thank Tom Bogdanowicz for his initial vision and all of the contributors for their great patience with this project. Two anonymous readers made numerous comments that greatly improved the arguments and coherence of the book. We also owe considerable debts of gratitude to the many people who helped us with aspects of the research, writing, and production of Beyond Ainu Studies. We would particularly like to thank Aoyama Mami, Pamela Asquith, Carol Ellick, Terre Fisher, Gelya Frank, Sabine Frühstück, Hasegawa Yūki, Kara Hoover, Katō Hirofumi, ayumi nakamura, Ronald Niezen, Ono Yūgo, Jennifer Robertson, Richard Siddle, Pamela Stern, Sunazawa Kayo, Cynthia Taylor, Uzawa Kanako, Joe Watkins, Mark Winchester, and Yūki Kōji. The editorial support of Patricia Crosby, Ann Ludeman, and Wendy Bolton at the University of Hawai‘i Press is also gratefully acknowledged.
Mark J. Hudson
Mark K. Watson