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An account of the customs and manners of the Ainos, the aborigines of the Hokkaido may be of interest to the reader who is still not familiar with them. The number of the Ainos scattered over Hokkaido has remarkably decreased and is less than 20,000. They live in groups of 20 to 40 houses in scattered districts on the island. In spite of ceaseless efforts on the part of colonial government and each prefectural government on their behalf, they nevertheless show no sign of benefiting from the care taken of them. They are an indolent, improvident race. Both men and women are addicted to drinking and appear to regard anything done for their benefit as a nuisance.

The male Ainos drone away their time and do nothing at most but hunting and fishing. The women are more inclined to labor and industry and curiously enough the female birthrate gets the better of that of males. Bear hunting best characterizes their courage, but the present scarcity of bears on the island barely rewards their efforts to catch enough to meet their drinking expenses. Ainos keep themselves very dirty and never care to utilize the bath accommodations furnished by the colonial authorities.

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