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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Ainu Skeletal Remains Repatriated to Japan

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Ainu remains repatriatedBERLIN, GERMANY—The Asahi Shimbun reports that an Ainu skull removed from a cemetery by a private academic society in Berlin in the late nineteenth century has been handed over to authorities at the Japanese Embassy in Berlin, at the request of the Japanese government. The skull has since been placed in a charnel house for displaced Ainu remains at Hokkaido University, where more than 1,000 sets of bones are housed. “We will look after the remains with great care, while maintaining dignity, until Ainu people decide its final resting place,” Hokkaido University President Toyoharu Nawa said of the skull. Hokkaido University archaeologist Hirofumi Kato added that at least 16 additional sets of Ainu remains are still in Germany. Ainu skeletons are also known to be housed in Australia, Britain, and the United States, among other places around world. For more, go to “Japan’s Early Anglers.”

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