Article © 2008 Lars Krutak Ainu family, ca. 1900. The indigenous people of northern Japan call themselves Ainu, meaning “people” or “humans” in their language. Recent DNA evidence suggests that the Ainu are the direct descendants of the ancient Jomon people who inhabited Japan as early as 12,000 years ago. Astonishingly, the Jomon culture existed in Japan for some 10,000 years, and today many artistic traditions of the Ainu seem to have evolved from the ancestral Jomon. As such, this artistic continuum represents one of the oldest ongoing cultural traditions in the world spanning at least ten millennia. Ainu women … Continue reading TATTOOING AMONG JAPAN’S AINU PEOPLE