The indigenous people of Hokkaido and the adjacent islands in the northern part of Japan, as well as of the Kuriles and Sakhalin in the former U.S.S.R., are known as Ainu. The origin of the Ainu is uncertain, and their light complexions, heavy beards, and abundant wavy, black hair distinguish them from the Japanese
Ainu Robe (chikarkarpe) - They function as protective shield not only from nature and weather but also to prevent evil spirits from entering the body. Originally isolated from the world Ainu wove their cloth from fiber derived of tree bark. Cotton , traded from the Japanese was greatly cherished and used as decorative accents. In the second half of the 19th century as cotton became more available it was more widely used.