Ainu Keynote Speakers: Mamoru Tazawa
Mr. Mamoru Tazawa is the Representative of the Karafuto (Sakhalin) Ainu Association, which has a membership of 80 in Japan. Karafuto Ainu’s predicament has begun with the forcible relocation of 841 people in the southern Karafuto to Soya Hokkaido by the Colonial Office in Sapporo in 1875, when the Treaty of St. Petersburg was signed by the Russian and Japanese governments. In 1876, they were relocated again to Tsuishikari from Soya in Hokkaido against their will by the Colonial Office. A few years later, more than 300 people in their community lost their lives by the outbreak of smallpox and cholera as they feared. The Karafuto Ainu Association has carried out a spirit-consoling service for their ancestors in Tsuishikari once a year for forty years. It also has been working on the collection of their own genealogical records by themselves to prove their existence. Nevertheless, they are ignored not only by the Japanese government but also by the Ainu Association of Hokkaido. Additionally, Mr. Tazawa is one of the special advisors to the Citizens’ Alliance for the Exploration of Ainu Policy (https://ainupolicy.jimdo.com/).