Ainu people

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Historically Ainu and other Ainu languages; today, most Ainu speak Japanese or Russian.[2]

Animism, Russian Orthodox Christianity, Buddhism

The Ainu (アイヌ?, Aynu アィヌ) [ʔáinu] (also called Ezo in historical texts) 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 ethnic issues in Japan resulting in those with Ainu backgrounds hiding their identities and confusion over mixed heritages. 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 upwards of 200,000 people.[1]

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