Monday, May 24, 2010

Boats of the Ainu of Hokkaido

Old Photos of Japan is a fine blog aptly described by its title. A search for "boats" pulls up only a few hits, but they're quite interesting. I won't bother paraphrasing the content; just follow the links to the full articles.

The Ainu are the native people of Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. This article mentions their dugouts and describes their lashed canoes and sailboats. (Photo from the 1920s.)

Ainu fishermen in dugouts, with very specialized fish spears (photo from 1900s). Lots of detail here.

Thanks to Heather Hernandez, technical services librarian at San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park and blogger for Maritime Compass, for passing along this fine resource. Thanks also to Old Photos of Japan.


  1. Thanks, Bob. Love your site and the concept of focusing on boats "outside the Western Tradition."

    I actually have a large number of photographs of Japanese boats during the 1860s and 1930s in my archive.

    As it happens, I am building a more comprehensive online database. It will contain 3000+ images, including the shots of the boats, without the long descriptive notes found on Old Photos of Japan. This site should go live this Summer.

    I will announce the new site on Old Photos of Japan (which is taking a break while I am building the new site), so you can find more images that you will find helpful for your blog.

  2. Thanks Kjeld. I look forward to seeing the new images this summer. Best,

  3. I've gotten an update from Kjeld Duits of Photos of Old Japan, and he says that the new site is now expected to launch 10/10/2010. Until then, the site still remains here: