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Ainu Keynote Speakers: Hatakeya Toshi

Toshi Hatakeya is among Ainu keynote speakers at the International Conference on Policy towards Indigenous Peoples in Sapporo in December 2017. He was born in a coastal village of the Sea of Okhotsk in the eastern part of Hokkaido in the early 1940s. The village flourished as an Ainu kotan (community) in the 17th century. In regard to his ancestors, Kikenishipa, fifth generation before him, was a fisherman and a chief of 11 villages. Toshi also has made a livelihood by coastal fishery for many decades. In his childhood, he was taught the location of a religious service for whales in the coast by his great-grandmother. It explicitly means that the Ainu had been involved in whaling before. At the conference, he will reveal what the Fisheries Agency of Japan neither discloses its activities for scientific whaling nor gives the green light to Indigenous whaling despite his repeated demands over the decades.