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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2005/08/22 02:31:07 (August 2005).

[Sunday 14th August]
After the previous day's rather long journey, we thought it best for all concerned to stay in the local area around where we were staying today. So Mikikosan took us for a bit of a drive and a wander around Shizunai. This included a trip to the small Ainu museum there, which I found very interesting. The Ainu are the indigenous population of Japan (the Japanese are all immigrants!), and in a country where gaijins like me stick out like a sore thumb, and are often treated very differently, I find some comfort in knowing that, bizarrely, the original indigenous population of Japan are actually genetically closer to me than to the bulk of the Japanese.
In the evening we went to the Taniguchi family's farm for dinner. The family farm is a pretty huge estate - a stark contrast to the gardenless shoeboxes most Japanese people seem to live in. The family breed racing horses there. It was a very nice evening, the family were very courteous and welcoming and I felt really comfortable and relaxed there. Spoke almost entirely in Japanese all evening, helped no doubt by a fair amount of beer.

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