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AINU

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     The language of the Ainu is significantly different than the language of the Japanese.  In fact, the Ainu language could not be traced to any other culture as well.  The Ainu language is only spoken by those who are Ainu and has no relation to or similarity to cultures around Hokkaido.  For past several decades, their language has been becoming endangered because many Ainu today fear of being discriminated against if they spoke the Ainu language in Japan.  Also, some Ainu are unaware of their origins and therefore do not know the Ainu language.  In all of Hokkaido, it is estimated that only 1,000 people speak the language fluently out of the estimated population of 150,000 Ainu.