Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Hokkaido an island in the far north of japan, has only been part of the country for about 100 years; colonization did not start until late in the 19th century. The original inhabitants were the Ainu. Because their foodways survived into recent times almost untouched by ‘civilization’, these have been zealously studied by anthropologists, with the result that the Ainu are mentioned more often in the literature than the relatively small population would seem to warrant. One remarkable feature of the indigenous culture is that there are striking and inexplicable resemblances between the language and that of the Basques in Europe.