"Curiosity is the only good quality which I ever possessed"
When I go to a country I do my best to be like one of the natives themselves, and, whether they are savage or not, I endeavour to show respect for them and their ideas, and to conform to their customs for the time being. I make up my mind that what is good for them must be good enough for me, and though I have occasionally had to swear at myself for “doing in Ainuland as the Ainu does”, especially as regards the food, I was not much the worse for it in the end. I never use force when I can win with kindness, and in my small experience in Hokkaido and other countries I have always found that real savages in their simplicity are most ” gentleman-like ” people. With few exceptions they are good-natured, dignified, and sensible, and the chances are that if you are fair to them they will be fair to you. Civilised savages and barbarians I always found untrustworthy and dangerous.
The Island of Yezo, with the smaller islands near its coast, and the Kurile group, taken together, are called “the Hokkaido.” The Hokkaido extends roughly from 41″ to 51° latitude north, and between 139° and 157° longitude east of Greenwich.
My view of the origin of the word Ainu is this: Ainu is but a corruption or abbreviation of Ai-mim, “they with hair,” or “hairy men,” or else of Hain-mim, “come with hair” or “descended hairy”. Considering that the Ainu pride themselves above all things on their hairiness, it does not seem improbable to me that this may be the correct origin of the word, and that they called themselves after the distinguishing characteristic of their race.
– from the Preface
Komagatake is one of the most majestic and picturesque mountains I have ever seen, as it possesses lovely lines on nearly every side. Its isolation and sudden sharpelevation, rising as it does directly from the sea, gives, of course, a grand appearance to its weird and sterile slopes, which are covered with warmly-tinted cinders, pumice, and lava.
– from page 4, The First Ainu
Men and women wore large ear-rings or pieces of red or black cloth, which added a great deal to their picturesqueness ; but the women were disfigured by a long moustache tattooed across the face from ear to ear. Rough drawings adorn the arms and hands of the women, and some of the younger females would undoubtedly be fine-looking if not disfigured by the tattoos, for they carrj’ themselves well when walking, and possess comely features. Judging from appearances, I should think them very passionate.
– from page 6, Sketching under difficulties