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Currently on display at the East Asian library on my campus:

Illustrated by Utagawa Gyokuransai

Sorry about the strange angle. Since the book was displayed under glass, I was trying to get it without glare. The red spot is a reflection of the emergency exit light, overhead.

The display placard reads:

Mamiya Rinzo 間宮林蔵, Kita Ezo zusetsu 北蝦夷図説, Ill. Utagawa Gyokuransai (Sadahide) 橋本玉蘭齋 (貞秀).
Edo: Harimaya Katsugoro, 1855.

The Ainu and other tribes of northeastern Asia revered the bear as a deity or divine messenger. In a common ritual sequence, the bear, obtained as a cub, was shown all the care a human baby might receive — until it grew too large. Then sacrifice and ritual consumption took place. Modern anthropologists characterize the rite as an opportunity to host a divinity, partake of its strength and virtue, and, through death, release its soul to return to its proper home.

Recommended reference:

Walker, Brett L. The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion,1590-1800. Berkeley: University of California, 2006.

Also, a tangentially related link:
LAND GRAB!!! Plots of land in the Hokkaido countryside from just one Yen per square meter”

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