Invisible Indigenous Descendants in Hokkaido, Japan

March 25, 2021

In this presentation, Dr. Mai Ishihara introduces the previously unexplored case of the silent Indigenous descendants in Hokkaido, Japan, and talks about the process of putting the pain of silence into words for those who could not inherit historical and social connections to indigeneity. In this age of diversity, mutual understanding has become increasingly essential. Yet, it remains a difficult task in many situations, such as the one highlighted in this presentation. It is not always easy to understand others’ pain, especially when there is no social consensus on each individual’s suffering or pain as they may be transparent and invisible. This presentation on Invisible Indigenous Descendants in Hokkaido aims to break the silence, confront the associated pain, and shed light on some of the challenges of understanding indigeneity.


Dr. Mai Ishihara (石原真衣) is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. She specializes in Cultural Anthropology and Ainu and Indigenous Research. She is the author of Autoethnography of ‘Silence’: The Story of the Pain of Silent Ainu and Their Care (Sapporo: Hokkaido University Press, Dec. 2020 [in Japanese]).


Thursday March 25, 2021

6:00 - 8:00 pm Pacific Standard Time