Controversies surrounding Ainu skeletal remains, indigenous rights, & research

September 27, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Mānoa Campus, Moore Hall 319 (Tokioka Room), 1890 East-West Rd.

Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Studies at Kyushu University, Dr. Noriko Seguchi is giving a talk entitled, "The controversies surrounding Ainu skeletal remains, indigenous rights, and research ethics,"on Friday, September 27 from 12:00-1:30pm in Moore Hall 319.

Ainu rights advocates have been requesting since the early 1980s the repatriation of Ainu skeletal remains that had been unethically collected by Japanese researchers. However, universities and the government declined to return them, while physical anthropologists argued that returning them would mean that valuable scientific knowledge would be lost along with the opportunity to conduct further studies when new techniques became available. In the fall of 2016, the repatriation process of Ainu skeletal remains finally started at Hokkaido University and Sapporo Medical University. Several problems have arisen: the repatriation guideline direct that the remains should be returned to lineal descendants, which is a challenge without identification records; and the Ainu object to a recent study of Ainu mitochondrial DNA by Adachi et al, claiming that this paper did not address ethical considerations. In this talk, I address the current controversies surrounding the repatriation of Ainu human remains and discuss research ethics and the future of anthropology.

This lecture is part of the Center for Japanese Studies' Seminar Series and is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology.

Ticket Information
Free and open to the public.

Event Sponsor
Center for Japanese Studies and Dept. of Anthropology, Mānoa Campus

More Information
(808) 956-2665,,

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