絵本でふれるアイヌ文化 : 子どもと保育者の感想の分析から
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Ainu culture in picture books: Analyzing the impressions of children and teachers
Knowledge of the Japanese indigenous Ainu culture is passed on from generation to generation, usually through oral literature in the form of wepeker and yukar (songs and prose), or cultural rituals. In this study, we focused on Ainu picture books based on wepeker and yukar. First, we reviewed 26 Ainu picture books with the aim of identifying distinctive structures and world views. Next, we selected five books and gave them to 15 kindergarten teachers to use in their classrooms. Then, we conducted a questionnaire survey of the teachers seeking their opinions regarding the Ainu picture books. Two of the teachers read the picture books aloud to the five-year-old children. The results of the survey indicated that eight of the 15 teachers would like to use the Ainu picture books in their early childhood education and care programs. We found that the Ainu picture books included the Ainu world view, which recognizes human beings as a type of creature, and traditional knowledge, which differs from scientific knowledge. Through having the Ainu picture books read to them by their teachers, the children became aware of the Ainu world view and language, which differs from scientific knowledge and the Japanese language, respectively. Children need to learn about Ainu culture and their world view in early childhood education and care programs to make them aware of the diversity that exists in their own country.
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