The Natives of Japan. The Ainu (アイヌ?), also called Aynu, Aino (アイノ), and in historical texts Ezo (蝦夷), are indigenous people or groups in Japan and Russia. Historically they spoke the Ainu language and related varieties and lived in Hokkaidō, the Kuril Islands, and much of Sakhalin. Most of those who identify themselves as Ainu still live in this same region, though the exact number of living Ainu is unknown. This is due to confusion over mixed heritages and to ethnic issues in Japan resulting in those with Ainu backgrounds hiding their identities. In Japan, because of intermarriage over many years with Japanese, the concept of a pure Ainu ethnic group is no longer feasible.3 Official estimates of the population are of around 25,000, while the unofficial number is upward of 200,000 people.1
The Ainu people live manly in Hokkaido
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