What is on Today's Google Homepage? Yukie Chiri's 120th Birthday

Google Doodle Celebrates -  Yukie Chiri's 120th Birthday | Google Doodle が祝う - 知里幸恵生誕 120 周年

What is on Today's Google Homepage?  Yukie Chiri's 120th Birthday

Today’s Doodle commemorates the 120th birthday of Ainu translator, Yukie Chiri and was illustrated by guest artist Yumi Koizumi. The Ainu are an Indigenous group of people that reside in the northern regions of Japan. When they were forced to relocate and assimilate into Japanese culture during the early 1900s, Chiri created an anthology of Ainu epic tales, called yukar, to ensure their stories and culture were correctly preserved.

Chiri was born on this day in 1903 in Noboribetsu City, Hokkaido during a time when the Ainu people were being compelled to adopt traditional Japanese values. As a girl, she was sent to reside with her aunt in Asahikawa and learned both Japanese and Ainu. She was a gifted student and excelled in language arts.

When she was a teenager, Chiri encountered a Japanese linguist named Kyōsuke Kindaiachi who was working to record Ainu folklore and traditions. She decided to dedicate the remainder of her life to transcribing and translating yukar and eventually created an anthology, Ainu Shinyōshū (or A Collection of the Ainu Epics of the Gods). This was an especially difficult task since yukar are oral works intended to be chanted. 

Because of Chiri’s work, many readers started to respect the Ainu culture. Today, many still reference Chiri’s anthology as the primary reputable source for Ainu traditions and culture.

Happy birthday Yukie Chiri!