Ainu and Ryukyuan People

This post might not be related to Camping in Taiwan however in the recent dispute between China, Taiwan and Japan on Senkaku and Liu Qiu (Ryukyu) Islands had led my interest to dig up history. Coming from South East Asia, practically have no clue about the history in these region. However it was an interesting researched, there are few other tribes but just like to focus on these two for the moment. 

Ainu People
The Ainu people might not have any link to the current disputed islands claim but it has a rather interesting long history, will not be able to write everything but I have the links below for your pleasure.

These tribal people first came and settled in Hokkaido as early as 14,000BC. Today their blood line could still be traced back to Russian soil. Probably that was where they came from. Judging from their dark skin and features, they definitely have a link with the Eskimos. According to some research, Ainu people were Mongoloid traveller. Today Japan have accepted these aboriginal in their culture. You can find more info on the links below.

Japanese tourist with two Ainu in Hokkaido, date unknown. (Sgt. Steiner/Flickr)
How nice to have a pet Teddy Bear


Ryukyuan People
They are the current descendent of Ryukyu Islands 琉球諸島, Japan and had their own Kingdom at one time. Before they used to trade and paid tribute to China. They were not part of China however Japan had invaded their land and forcing almost 25,000 Ryukyuan people to flee. Now most of the descendent can be found in Hawaii and other parts of the world. 

Martial art Karate was originated from Ryukyuan people and not from Japanese. It was said that during Japanese ruling, they were not allow to carry any blades so they have created their own form of self defence. Now we understand why in Karate they always have their front hand pointed as a blade.  

It is hard to tell if these Ryukyuan people came from Japan or China but during the Ming Dynasty officials were sent to these island to assist. Today most of the descendent had a blood line with those Chinese Ming officials. During the 6th and 7th century, Chinese books have recorded their existence.

After World War II, US had offer Chiang Kai Shek of Kuomingtan (KMT) to administer these islands but he was too busy fighting his own wars. After his retreat to Taiwan, US never offered him anymore but later it was given to Japan for administration. 

Recently the Peoples Republic of China have voiced out, some article claimed the PRC wants Ryukyu Islands back but according to an interview with a PRC Professor, the intention was to give  the Ryukyuan People back it's Kingdom. You can view the Video here. (in Mandarin )


In Taiwan, these could be the early settlers who have came over or it could be from Formosa that some have migrated to Ryukyu Islands however there were no historical facts. Okinawa History have found Ryukyuan had more links to Taiwan and Philippines compare to Japan.

From these findings now we could clearly understand why some locals in Taiwan felt they were not part of China nor the current political system but instead their Kingdom has been invaded. 

Question: Could the Ainu and Ryukyuan inter-culture mixed had created the current Aboriginal tribes? Could the answer lies here??
Photo was taken in Meiji period hence the Japanese dress code but from their features, they were definitely not by Japanese origin but more to Chinese. These could be the 2nd or 3rd generation Ryukyuan who had Ming Dynasty blood in them. 


Note: Photos were of Wiki origin otherwise stated.

1 comment:


    Are you sure all of your pictures are of Ryukyuan people? Because you show pictures of Ainu and they are from russia/north japan.