Date Awarded


Document Type

Dissertation -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


American Studies


Margaretta Lovell


This study reevaluates the significance of the Ainu in U.S.-Japan relations. Specifically, the study emphasizes a trilateral configuration of relations among the Japanese, Americans, and the Ainu in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, in the period since the middle of the nineteenth century. By analyzing a wide range of documentary, visual, and material sources available in the United States and Japan, the study discusses specific connections that existed between the Ainu, Americans, and the Japanese in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some were direct encounters. Other forms of relationship involved indirect connections. These encounters affected the social and historical consciousness of the Japanese and Americans in the past and which continue to do so today.;By reclaiming the presence of the Ainu in the vision of the past, this dissertation enlarges the terrain of the intercultural history of the United States and Japan. It recognizes the Ainu as a significant third party in third history of U.S.-Japan relations and questions the conventional historical framework used in the understanding of the U.S.-Japan relationship, a framework which has marginalized and even excluded the Ainu. By inserting the Ainu into our constructions of past and present human relationships in Hokkaido, the dissertation complicate and problematizes the very framework of the conventional understanding of the relationship between the two nations by pointing to the integral role the Ainu have continuously played on the various stages of cultural interaction in the northern island of Japan.



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