Journal of the Anthropological Society of Nippon
Online ISSN : 1884-765X
Print ISSN : 0003-5505
ISSN-L : 0003-5505
Aino-Cave on Shimokita Peninsula, Japan
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1952 Volume 62 Issue 4 Pages 161-178


In August 1951, we excavated three limestone caves, identified as A, B and C, in Iwaya village, Aomori Prefecture. Both caves A and B were filled with beach sand and pebbles ; there were shellmounds in cave C. In these cave-deposits we discovered human bones, animal bones and implements. The human bones were derived from the Tokugawa era as determined by the cultural remains.
It was necessary to pay special attention to cave C, as two low and narrow fissures were annexed to it making small side chambers, whose entrances were closed with heaps of pebbles. Behind the pebbles we found human bones scattered on the floors of the side chambers. The skeletons from caves A and B are distinctly those of Japanese, but the ones from cave C, both main and side chambers, are those of Aino.
H. SUZUKI, one of the authors, has already proven the residence of modern (Tokugawa era) Aino on the northern end of Honshu as reported in this journal last year. The discovery of Aino skeletons from the Iwaya caves confirms anew the residence of the Aino in the Tokugawa era. But these Aino must have been immigrants from Hokkaido and not the last remnants of the Aino, who were driven northward from Honshu to Hokkaido, as often stated by some authors.

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