Sean C. Gaston | 2024 I.S. Symposium

Sean Gaston head shot

Name: Sean C. Gaston
Title: Mapping Hokkaido: An Accessibility Focused Public Archaeology View of Ainu Space and Japanese Maps
Majors: Archaeology; East Asian Studies
Advisors: Olivia Navarro-Farr; James Bonk

Hokkaido is the northernmost prefecture of Japan today, but, prior to colonization, it was the heart of the Ainu culture. Today, as the Ainu culture rebuilds against the odds set out by a government that did not want to formally recognize the indigenous group until June of 2008, this project seeks to highlight damages done to the Ainu, as well as underline their historical foothold in Japan and their current status.

This project used Public Archaeological methods, in combination with a knowledge of East Asian Studies, to create a website focused on mapping and history. Alongside that, it sought to include Ainu religion, perspectives, and culture into aspects of its design and written work.

I gained an interest in the topic of the Ainu at a young age, after reading a National Geographic issue from 1967. I have held an interest since that young age, doing many projects relating to the Ainu in my 4 years of undergraduate studies here at the College of Wooster.

Posted in Symposium 2024 on April 24, 2024.