YEZO MEN, JAPAN The island of Yezo is the most northern portion of Japan and is largely inhabited by a race of men who are the descendants of the ancient Aborigines of the country. No mention of Yezo is made in the early historical records of the Japanese, and it was perhaps unknown to them until the last of the Ainos, (the original inhabitants of Japan), were expelled from the Main Island. The difference between the Japanese and the “Yezo Men” is still plainly visible, especially in the amount of hair which grows on the bodies of these dwellers in the North, in contrast to the Japanese, who are among the least hirsute of any people on the globe. The climate of Yezo is quite cold. For six months it is more or less covered with snow. Much of the interior still consists of primeval forests, rarely penetrated except by these descendants of the Ainos in quest of bears and other wild animals. There are few good roads in Yezo and most journeys must be made there on horseback. There is, however, regular communication by steamers between certain points of Yezo and the Main Island of Japan. This northern region is not without many natural features of great beauty. Its coast scenery is very fine, its lakes and mountains offer a pleasing variety, and one or two moderately active volcanoes serve to relieve life of complete monotony. The “Yezo Men” in the civilized parts of the island are by no means savages. As this illustration shows us, they are respectably clothed, their dwellings are well thatched, and their fences are at least substantial if not graceful. Their boats, too, though primitive, are skillfully fashioned, and under the manipulation of these stalwart natives they cleave the water with great speed. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *