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Yemishi - Ainu

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Yemishi - Ainu

Postby ziritrion » Thu Sep 25, 2003 5:07 +0000

From what I've heard/read, the Yemishi were the ancestors of the Ainu, Japan's first inhabitants. I don't really know much about ancient Japanese history, so I'd like to know more about them: who were they? How did they get to Japan? According to "Grasscutter", Yamato-daké went to fight off the Yemishi, but why? If the Yemishi were the first inhabitants of Japan, where did Yamato-daké and everyone else come from? Are there any Ainu left today? And the big question: are the Ainu/Yemishi/whatever they were called at that time ever going to appear in UY?
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Postby takematsu » Thu Sep 25, 2003 14:58 +0000

If the Yemishi were the first inhabitants of Japan, where did Yamato-daké and everyone else come from? Are there any Ainu left today?


On the former question-- prrrrrrrobably the peninsula now known as Korea. It's the closest point of contact, and there's some Koreans who claim to have archaeological evidence; I'm not right up on it. There are indeed Ainu running around today, mainly on Hokkaido, and they're very (for want of a better word) caucasian looking, with rather different traditions.

I read some time ago that the traditional depictions of samurai (odd skin colour vs. kuge people lounging in court, beards, crazy hair), might indicate that the class was at one point made up largely of imported Ainu. This notion tickles me greatly, since it pokes some holes in racism :lol:
Last edited by takematsu on Fri Sep 26, 2003 15:32 +0000, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Todd Shogun » Thu Sep 25, 2003 22:06 +0000

Maybe to Japanese folks they look caucasian, but to me they resemble more American natives and Inuits than anything else... and even that is still somewhat of a stretch.

It is true that there are some pure Ainu left in Hokkaido, but due to interbreeding with Japanese, their numbers are dwindling. Even today most people considered Ainu are only part. I also remember hearing somewhere that Japan's 2nd immigrants (most likely from Korea) intermixed with the Ainu and thus produced the current physical appearance of modern Japanese (although I am sure this is debatable).

I share your intrigue with the Ainu. Look around on the Web. There have been documentaries produced about the Ainu. Also, for a great anime that deals partly with Ainu, check out Kamui no Ken (The Dagger of Kamui), a well-done epic which stars Jiro, a half-Ainu ninja. Coincidentally, Stan lettered and did some touch up art on The Legend of Kamui manga when it was brought over to the US during the manga invasion of the 80s.
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Postby ziritrion » Fri Sep 26, 2003 7:22 +0000

Cool. Thanks for the info. I'll try and do some research on the topic :) .
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Postby Stan Sakai » Fri Sep 26, 2003 7:54 +0000

The Yemishi/Ainu are the indigenous peoples of Japan. There is evidence that shows that they inhabited Japan as far back as 5,000 BC. No one knows the origins of these people. Some theorize that they came from Western Europe, because of their Caucasian appearance. Others say they're related somehow to the aboriginies of Australia. Legends say they came from the sky. The present day Japanese emigrated from the Asian mainland, probably by way of Korea.

Facing assimilation into Japanese society, there are less than 300 full blooded Ainu. They live on Hokkaido, the northernmost of the major Japanese islands where they still practice their culture, though more for the tourist trade.

Ainu believe in invisible spiritual beings called "Kamui" who live in another world and visit Ainu villages disguised as animals. Kamui also reside in trees and mountains. The bear is especially revered. They are hunted for their meat, liver and gall bladder are dried and used as medicine, and the skin is worn.
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Postby ziritrion » Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:33 +0000

Well, thanks again Mr. Sakai :) .

So, they're animists too. It looks like their religion is somewhat similar to Shintoism. Is there any relationship between both religions?
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Postby Stan Sakai » Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:37 +0000

ziritrion wrote: It looks like their religion is somewhat similar to Shintoism. Is there any relationship between both religions?


I've read that Shintoism was based upon the religion of the Ainu. The other major religion of Japan is Buddhism, which was imported from India by way of China and Korea.
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Postby Todd Shogun » Fri Sep 26, 2003 12:11 +0000

I found this a very interesting read. Thoughts?

THE SAMURAI AND THE AINU
Findings by American anthropologist C. Loring Brace, University of Michigan, will surely be controversial in race conscious Japan. The eye of the predicted storm will be the Ainu, a "racially different" group of some 18,000 people now living on the northern island of Hokkaido. Pure-blooded Ainu are easy to spot: they have lighter skin, more body hair, and higher-bridged noses than most Japanese. Most Japanese tend to look down on the Ainu.

Brace has studied the skeletons of about 1,100 Japanese, Ainu, and other Asian ethnic groups and has concluded that the revered samurai of Japan are actually descendants of the Ainu, not of the Yayoi from whom most modern Japanese are descended. In fact, Brace threw more fuel on the fire with:


"Dr. Brace said this interpretation also explains why the facial features of the Japanese ruling class are so often unlike those of typical modern Japanese. The Ainu-related samurai achieved such power and prestige in medieval Japan that they intermarried with royality and nobility, passing on Jomon-Ainu blood in the upper classes, while other Japanese were primarily descended from the Yoyoi."
The reactions of Japanese scientists have been muted so. One Japanese anthropologist did say to Brace," I hope you are wrong."

The Ainu and their origin have always been rather mysterious, with some people claiming that the Ainu are really Caucasian or proto-Caucasian - in other words, "white." At present, Brace's study denies this interpretation.

(Wilford, John Noble; "Exalted Warriors, Humble Roots," New York Times, June 6, 1989. Cr. J. Covey.)

Comment. Fringe anthropology notes many "white" races in strange places; viz., the white Indians of Panama and the Mandans of the American West.


From Science Frontiers #65, SEP-OCT 1989. © 1989-2000 William R. Corliss
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Postby takematsu » Fri Sep 26, 2003 15:11 +0000

Thanks for the citation, go-shogun. On reflection, I'd only heard about that on CBC radio (where NPR gets its good stuff 8) ), so it'll be good to get the actual print version.
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Postby ziritrion » Fri Sep 26, 2003 16:36 +0000

Interesting read.

One Japanese anthropologist did say to Brace," I hope you are wrong."


This confirms that whenever a new theory which defies a pre-established belief shows up, some people will refuse to considerate it as a valid argument just because it's "wrong". Fanatism sucks :( .

OFF-TOPIC: how do you quote something with "someone wrote:" instead of "quote:"? Am I too dumb to figure out?
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Tocarians

Postby Kouroo » Sat Sep 27, 2003 5:54 +0000

There was a Caucasian group in China thousands of years ago (that left writing in Chinese characters) called the Tocarians. No one has ever established where they came from or how they ended up in the middle of China. I wonder if somehow they could've been related to the Ainu?
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Postby Todd Shogun » Sat Sep 27, 2003 21:35 +0000

I don't think that would be possible since the Ainu never had a written language until later when the effort was made to begin preserving thier culture and heritage (many Ainu speak Japanese over the Ainu language and for fear of losing the language, it was documented in writing). They spoke but did not read or write in their language, thus the reason why they have no documented history. Their only history lies in song and folk tales passed down through the generations. When their language was documented, there were many similarities to Basque language found (from Saharan/Mesopotamian roots). Check this out lifted from http://www.islandnet.com/~edonon/ainu.htm

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
BASQUE AND AINU

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

INTRODUCTION
The language of the Ainu bear-worshippers of Northern Japan has generally been considered a language-isolate, supposedly being unlike any other language on earth. A few researchers noticed a relationship with languages in south-east Asia, others saw similarity with the Ostiak and Uralic languages of northern Siberia. The Ainu look like Caucasian people, they have white skin, their hair is wavy and thick, their heads are mesocephalic (round) and a few have grey or blue eyes. However, their blood types are more like the Mongolian people, possibly through many millennia of intermixing. The Ainu are a semi-nomadic hunting and fishing tribe but also practice simple planting methods, which knowledge may have been acquired from the newcomers. The invading people, under their Yamato government, called them the Ezo, the unwanted, and forced the Ainu in fierce fighting to retreat north to the island of Hokkaido. The name Ezo likely is an abbreviation of the Basque word ezonartu (to disapprove of)

ARCHAEOLOGY.
Archaeologists have determined that the Ainu have been living on many of Japan's islands, from Okinawa to Sakhalin, for 7,000 years and likely longer. Their Jomon pottery is found everywhere; it is characteristic although somewhat clumsy and can be dated from 5,000 B.C. until just before the Christian era. It is very attractive and is distinguished by the fantasy of its shapes with elegant and imaginative cord decorations. Some of the most striking finds were the clearly anthropomorphic clay and stone figurines resembling pregnant females with mask-like faces and protuberant eyes; very similar to those found in many other parts of the world, especially in Europe.

A number of stone circles have also been found, similar to those in Cornwall (England) and Senegal (North-West Africa). A few still have the slender upright stone in the center, also found in the British Isles and elsewhere in Atlantic Europe and N.W. Africa. Around 300 B.C., Mongolian type people moved in from Korea and aggressively forced the Ainu north onto the large island of Hokkaido where an estimated 17,000 of them are still living. Some 10 dialects have been recognized, such as those of Sakhalin, Hokkaido and the Kurils, but several are at the point of being lost for ever. In Hokkaido young Ainu are now making an effort to restore their ancient language and traditions.

RELIGION
There are many intriguing resemblances between the religious customs of the Ainu and the Shinto Japanese. The Ainu called their God Kami while the Japanese called him Kamisama. The Aleut and Eskimo word kammi means "ancient thing" or "at the beginning," one of a great many correlations between Ainu and Inuktitut. (The Eskimo people call themselves the Inuit; note the similarity between the names Inuk and Ainu). Bear worship is still part of the Ainu religion and is described in detail by Joseph Campbell in Primitive Mythology. This paleolithic bear-worship may date back as far as 200,000 years, to the days of the Neanderthal people. It appears to have been practiced world-wide; wherever the bear was not found (mainly in Africa), its place was taken by similar panther-worship.

Bear worship was not tolerated in those areas later dominated by the major religions, therefore it was only possible for anthropologists to study the religion in the peripheral areas of northern Europe and Siberia. This gave rise to the idea that the Ainu must have moved eastward through Siberia, even though the nearest people of their type are found almost 5,000 miles away. But bear-worship has also been reported from Indonesia where languages similar to the Ainu language are still spoken (to be discussed with the Indonesian language). Could it be that the Ainu were part of the mass migration of "Caucasian" type Sea Peoples who fled the burning Sahara and, among others, became the "Caucasian" looking Polynesians and Maories? The following language comparison for the Ainu seems to indicate that this was the case.

THE NAMES AND WORDS OF JAPAN
In books about Japan it is often remarked that many of the names of Japan's geographical features were taken over from the Ainu. For instance the many names beginning or ending with ama (Goddess) are all thought to be of Ainu origin. In 1994 the newly married prince and princess of Japan travelled to the cave of the Goddess Amaterasu to ask her blessings for their marriage. The name Amaterasu is agglutinated from ama-atera-asu, ama (Goddess) atera (to come out, to appear) asturu (blessings flow): Blessings flow when the Goddess appears. This name is made up of perfect Basque! Other well-known names were similarly assembled such as Hokkaido: oka-aidu: oka (big meal) aiduru (looking foreward to): Looking forward to a big meal; and Fujiyama, fa-uji-ama: fa (happy) uju (cry of joy) ama (Goddess): "A happy cry of joy for the Goddess" is uttered by everyone who reaches the top of the holy mountain, just like is still being heard on many other mountains of the world (e.g . at Croag Patrick in Ireland, on the last Sunday of July). The Basques even have a word for this yodel cry for the Goddess, they call it the irrintzi.

The name Amaterasu is made up with the vowel-interlocking Ogam formula, which was surprising to me because in the Ainu language itself there is not a hint of this agglutinating formula. I then searched for more Japanese names and words which were assembled with the vowel-interlocking Ogam formula and found many such as Kamikaze and Samurai. The surprise which came from this comparison was that those words which showed vowel-interlocking were usually associated with fighting and male domination. This appeared to be true all over the Pacific, including Peru and Mexico. Could this mean that there were two major migrations, the first one many millennia ago from Mesopotamia which brought the peaceful people of the Goddess to the Pacific and a much later one, missionary based, bringing aggressive male domination and the language-distorting vowel-consonant-vowel (VCV) formula to these same areas?

None of the Ainu words were exactly the same as in Basque, but many were extremely close such as ikoro and koro (money), kokor and gogor (to scold), tasum and eritasun (illness), iska and xiska (to steal). A surprise was the Ainu word nok (testicle) which is much like the Basque word noka (familiarity with women). In English slang the same word is used in "to knock up" meaning "to cause a woman to become pregnant." In Indonesian nok means "unmarried young woman," while dénok means "slender, elegant woman." In Dutch slang the word is slightly altered to neuk (sexual intercourse). There is little doubt that the word goes way back to the Neolithic or even Paleolithic. From the following comparisons it seems clear to me that Ainu and Basque are genetically related. In comparing Ainu with Dravidian, I did not find such a relationship, although Dravidian itself is obviously also related to Basque. Two separate branches of the same tree?

The following words were taken from: An Ainu Dialect Dictionary edited by Shiro Hattori and (thank goodness) printed mostly in Latin characters. This work provided a wealth of excellent material for my comparison. Don't forget that the Basque "s" is pronounced as a soft "sh" and that our sharp "sh" is written as "x" in Basque. (The page column shows the word number/page number)

Page* AINU ENGLISH BASQUE ENGLISH

2/5 tontone to be bald tontordun crested, plumed
2/6 kepsapa bald head kepireska heads or tails
6/38 aspa to be deaf aspaldiko old, ancient
6/41 papus lips papar breast
6/69 taspare to sigh asparen to sigh
11/82 aske hand esku hand
12/94 poro monpeh thumb erpuru thumb
15/130 nok testicle noka familiarity with women
15/131 pok vulva puki vulva (slang)
16/133 uka'un sexualintercourseukan to possess, to have
16/134 meno kupuri to menstruate kopor-kopuri goblet, quantity
17/136 kema leg, foot kemen vigor, strength
17/137 hera to limp herren cripple
18/149 kiski hair kizkur curly, wavy hair
18/152 kamihi surface of kamisoi nightgown, the skin
19/161 tur dirt lur dirt
23/188 hatcir to fall (down) atzeratu to fall (back)
24/194 hotkuku to stoop kukutu to stoop
24/201 mokor sleep makar sleep
28/1 siko to be born zikoina stork
28/4 hetuku to grow up gehitu to grow up
28/4 sikup to grow up siku miserly
29/14 sinki to get tired sinkulin crying, whining
29/15 yasumi to rest jaso to get better
29/16 tasum illness eritasun illness
29/16 araka illness arakatu to be examined
30/22 ukikosmare to sprain ukitu to touch, to affect
31/34 pirika to recover pirri shaky, jittery
31/36 kusuri drug kutsu infection
31/38 shuruku poison shurrut gulp, drink
34/2 okkai man oka egin to eat too much
34/3 meneko woman eme female
35/7 sukukur young man sukor having a temper
kuraia strength
35/10 poro aynu adult porrokatu tired
35/11 onne kur old person onegi benign
kurrinka moaning
36/12 ekasi old man ekarri to contribute,provide
36/13 hutci old woman hutsikusle fault-finding
36/13 ruhne mah old woman urrumakatu to sing a lullaby
36/16 pon to be veryyoung ponte baptismal font
39/12 ona father onartzaile authority
40/16 po child poz happiness
42/31 uriwahnecin sibling aurride sibling
42/31 irutar siblings irutara three different ways
42/35 umatakikor to be sisters umatu to reproduce
44/52 kok son-in-law kok bellyful
45/56 aukorespa to be engaged aukeratu to choose, select
45/58 usante to marry usantza tradition
45/59 umurek married couple umotu to have children
47/68 ekkur guest ekuru peaceful, peace of mind
47/73 ipakasnokur teacher ikaserazi to teach
48/75 kusunkur enemy kuskusean spying
50/1 kotan village -kote multiplicity, many
50/2 porokotan city porrokatu to destroy
50/3 sinotusi open space sinotsu strange, unfamiliar
50/8 oiakunkur out of doors oian forest
51/10 ankahpaaki foreigner ankapetu to trample under foot
51/13 uraiki to make war jarraiki to attack
51/17 kotankoro tribal chief koroa crowned, glorified
52/18 tono official tontor plumed, feathered
52/21 u'ekari meeting ekarle bringer (of news)
52/21 u'ekarpa meeting ekarpen contribution
52/23 kotan orake to go to ruin oraka financial ruin
52/23 kiru to die out kirru blond
52/23 sikupu to perish siku shriveled up
53/32 isocise jail isolamendu isolation
56/1 itah language itano speaking in second person
57/12 kayo to cry out kaio seagull
58/15 ese to answer esetsi to argue
58/15 itasa answer itaun question
58/18 u'uste to pass along uste opinion
58/19 sonko information esonde advice
58/21 senpir backbiting senper suffering
58/22 sinititak to joke sinoti crazy
58/23 sunke falsehood suntsun foolish, idiotic
59/26 esina to conceal esinguratu to surround, to block
59/27 etekke confidential etekin profit, wages
59/28 eramankorka to pretend eramankor tolerant, enduring
59/28 ennuka to pretend enulkeria weakness, debility
60/40 itokpa to mark itoka quickly
64/1 ariki to come ariketa assignment, activity
64/2 koman to go komandante commander
64/5 eson asin to go away esonde advice
asi to start, to begin
65/11 rutu to move aside urrundu to move away
65/12 somaketa to approach somaketa attention, perception
65/14 etaras to stop etapa stage, stretch
66/15 kus to pass through kuskusean to peek, to snoop
68/33 kaya sail kaiar very large seagull
70/2 ko'ekari to encounter elkarikusi to see each other
70/3 aske'uk to invite aske free, independent
70/5 ekari arki to go out,to meetekarri to bring, to provide
70/7 umusa to bow kilimusi to bow
72/20 omonnure to praise omendatu to praise
73/24 kokor unpeki to scold gogor egin to scold
73/25 ikohka punishment iko hammer
75/35 ukonkep strength,contestukondoka elbowing, forcing a way
75/35 puni strength,contestpuntzet sword
75/39 inospa to pursue inozotu to be intimidated
76/40 oskoni to overtake oskol armour
76/41 akkari to outrun akarraldi to anger
76/46 ikasuy to help, assist ikastun student
77/50 kukocan to refuse uko egin to refuse
77/51 ese to undertake esetsi to attack, to debate
80/1 konte to give kontentatu to please
80/8 uk to receive ukan to have
81/12 ipuni to distribute ipuina to tell a story
81/13 esikari to rob esi fence, enclosure
81/14 iska to steal xiskatu to steal
83/29 ikoro money koro money
87/15 pita to untie,loosen pita fishing line
87/17 tekkas glove teka pod, covering
88/25 atusa naked atutxa better world
88/26 hantasine barefoot hankagorri barefoot
96/38 seku to suck sikui dry
97/46 cikaripe to prepare sikatu to dry
97/52 hu raw, unripe huruppa to swallow
158/21 eraman to get used to eramanpen patience, tolerance
187/59 peko ox menpeko controlled by
It is easy to find hundreds more like the ones above, all it takes is time, but I can see little reason for doing that. To me this comparison is quite convincing: the Ainu language is genetically related to the universal language, Saharan/Basque; the similarities are just too many to be accidental. Considering that the Ainu have probably been separated from the west for some 7,000 years, if not 8,000, it is not surprising that the language has drifted away from the neolithic language as it had developed in the Sahara. The fact that so many Ainu words are still clearly recognizable when compared to modern Basque words, this is nothing short of amazing and tells us that the ancient oral traditions had been faithfully maintained since they left the Sahara or Mesopotamia. The Ainu had no writing system but memorized their history and legends as yukar, which means that the poetry and epics were performed by professional memorymen with elaborate display and ritual. Similarly, in the west, the universal language was maintained by regular meetings, probably at the central shrine on Malta, where the bertsolari (professional memorymen) of all the tribes and regions met to re-inforce and standardize their language and knowledge.

The Pacific sea peoples settled on hundreds of islands, they scattered over the entire endless Pacific, and it must be assumed that the single unifying educational exchange practiced in the Mediterranean was impossible to repeat. Similar local meeting-islands must have been designated in the Marianas, Polynesia, Melanesia, Indonesia, New Zealand etc. but regular contact with the far-away Ainu could hardly have been maintained. Consequently the formerly universal language drifted and diversified into what we know today as the many languages of the Pacific islands, including those of the Kurils and Aleutians. Several of the Pacific languages, such as Japanese and Hawaian, do not have the "r". It has been theorized that these languages have lost this letter over the centuries.

Another suggestion was that the original "Caucasians" coming from Africa or Mesopotamia, some 7,000 years ago, did not know this letter. However, it appears that the Ainu were the first to arrive in the Pacific and they have the "r". The lost "r" theory may well be correct. It is interesting to note that the name Ainu possibly comes from ain'u, an abbreviation of ainbanatu (to distribute, to scatter all over). Another origin could be the Basque word aienatu (the disappeared, departed).These astute navigators of the Pacific must also have discovered the west coast of North America at a very early date. The island-chain of the Aleutians was a ready-made pathway to Alaska, which must have been reached well before 6,000 B.C., possibly before the east coast of North America was spotted. It may have been about the same time that the Eskimos started to spread east into Arctic Canada and Greenland, bringing along a pidgin-type, Ainu-related, Basque to Labrador and Greenland, but I will discuss this with the Eskimo language.

WERE THE AINU "NOMADS OF THE WIND"?
There are indications that the Ainu sailed regularly to Alaska to obtain reindeer hides from the Aleuts established there, which they needed for their sails, exactly the same as was done by the Basques, the Irish and Scots who went to Arctic Norway for their reindeer-leather sails (Mt. Komsa people). The Ainu must have been great long-distance sea-farers to keep up contact with their home-base which may have been in Mesopotamia. All over the Pacific this incredible sailing tradition waned fast when the social structure changed after the coming of European or Asiatic domination. Today the Ainu still sail the ocean but mostly on fishing trips. The complex navigational techniques, acquired over millennia had been the property of a few special families and were never popular wisdom. They are now lost. The astonishing amount of astronomical knowledge which the members of such navigator families had to memorize was taught them at a very young age and was built up during a lifetime on the ocean. To these highly skilled and proud people the Pacific was no hostile place, the ocean was their life and joy, and an indispensible part of their culture. Only in the Carolines the ancient spirit, some of the secret navigational techniques and much astronomical wisdom has been maintained to this day. All this is described in a wonderful book called: We, the Navigators by David Lewis.

The people who sailed the Pacific without the aid of instruments have recently been called the "Nomads of the Wind", a most appropriate title for these courageous and resourceful people. The Ainu appeared to have been the avant garde of the Pacific migration. The desertification of the Sahara had probably forced these tribes to flee for their lives. It was then that the name "Africa" was coined: af.-.ri-ika, afa-ari-ika: afa (happy) arinari eman (to escape) ikara (terror): Happy to have escaped the terror. Some of these displaced tribes sailed around Asia and started to populate the nearest Pacific islands, all of them speaking the same universal language and bringing along the same religion.

While looking in more detail at the names in the Pacific, I found that many of the Pacific islands had names which could be translated with the Basque dictionary such as: "Tahiti", from tahi-iti, tahiu (appearance) iti (ox): "Resembles an ox" the sharp pointed mountains indeed resemble ox horns. Or: "Rapa Nui" (Easter Island), arra-apa ' nui, erraldoi (giant) aparta (far, far away), nui (enormous, in Hawaiian): "Enormous giants, far, far away". Or: "Hawaii", ha'u-ahi: ha'u (this one) ahigarri (exhausting): This one is exhausting! It still is. Or: "Papua", apapua (living in poverty); stone age people don't own much, they don't pollute and they live as part of nature. One tantalizing hint comes from Peru where the patriarchal Incas established a complex civilization, complete with highly evolved Sumerian-type irrigation. The Incas were living gods and the Basque word for "God" is ainkoa! More later about this.
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Postby ziritrion » Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:22 +0000

Ha! Ongi etorri euskera! (Welcome to the Basque language!). So far, I've seen Basque linked to Saharian nomadic tribes, vikings, and ancient civilitzations like pre-roman Iberian culture and even Atlantis! And now the Ainu! This is getting exciting! :mrgreen: .

Oh, and if you're planning to go to Spain, make sure to go Euskadi (Basque country). It's one of the most beautiful places in Spain, and their food is great! I have some very nice friends there as well.
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Postby Todd Shogun » Sun Sep 28, 2003 18:50 +0000

Next time I visit the homeland I'll be sure to visit Basque country! Looking at the uncanny similarities of the Ainu and Basque languages, one can't help but wonder exactly how much of an impact Basque has had on the world.
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Todd Shogun
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Postby takematsu » Mon Sep 29, 2003 15:55 +0000

Looking at the uncanny similarities of the Ainu and Basque languages, one can't help but wonder exactly how much of an impact Basque has had on the world.

I suspect space aliens; apart from the "Basques are everywhere" effect, it's hard to figure how Finnish and Korean are linguistically related without a flyin saucer transporting folks around neolithic Eurasia.
"...[H]uman beings are given free will in order to choose between insanity on the one hand and lunacy on the other..."
Aldous Huxley, 1946
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