Ainu Mosir

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
Ainu National Republic
Айну Мошир
Largest CitySatporopet
Government TypeRepublic
LanguagesAinu (official)
Russian (official)
CurrencyAinu rubel

Ainu Mosir (Cyrillic: Айну Мошир, Katakana: アィヌモシㇼ), commonly known by the exonyms Iedzo, Yezo, Ezo (蝦夷), or Ka'i/Qoy, is a country in Northeast Asia bordered by Russia to the north and Japan to the south. It consists of the main island of Ezo (excluding Wajinchy) and the Kurils.


Early History

Lake Kusuri Ainu revolt

Ainu began fleeing south to Kunashir and the Apasiri area in 1770, when Russia began taking over fishing grounds in the northern Kurils. The sudden influx of Russian traders and the northern Ainu to Ezo created tensions on the island. The Matsumae clan, responsible for most of Ezo, alerted the officials in Edo of a possible Russian naval invasion. The economic and social strain put on the Ainu culminated in a revolt in 1773, starting in the lakeside village of Tescaca and fueled by 3,000 Ainu soldiers. Russian mercenaries were hired by Ainu chieftains, bringing with them European military techniques.

Eventually in 1775, the Tokugawa central administration decided to directly rule Ezo in place of indirect rule via the Matsumae clan. Thousands of Japanese soldiers contained the rebellion and the Russian mercenaries to the rural north of Ezo, massacring or expelling Ainu populations in the south. As the Matsumae lost their power, they started to look for allies elsewhere. They became friendly towards the Russians and their various Japanese allies - such as the rising Sakai clan.

Tokugawa Flee to Ezo

Loosing the power to the rising Sakai clan, Tokugawa loyalists were pushed further and further north until they were expelled from the island of Honshu altogether. However, the Tokugawa clan still maintained power in Oshima after expelling the Matsumae clan from their historic territories. Northern Ezo was ruled by Ainu chiefs with small enclaves ruled by Japanese lords. In 1807 & 1808 fled to Ezo and established consolidated their rule over the island.

Tokugawa rule (1810-1837)

Tokugawa loyalists, controlling the island of Ezo, repelled Russo-Sakai invasions in 1810, 1812 and 1816. Throughout the 1810s and 1820s, the Sakai eventually gave up on trying to actively conquer the island and instead attempted to starve the Tokugawa of political capital by issuing an ultimatum to all its trading partners - do not interact with the Tokugawa or they would cut off trading relations. However, this was an unsuccessful strategy, and the idea of conquering Ezo faded from the list of priorities.

The Russian Empire resented Tokugawa control of Ezo as it limited their expansion in Japan and the northern Pacific. In the 1820s, Russia staked claim on Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands which had extensive Tokugawa influence. In 1837, the Ainu revolted against the Tokugawa after decades of cultural assimilation policies. The Russians supported the Ainu insurgency, leading to the establishment of a provisional multiethnic Ezo state to challenge the Tokugawa's rule.

After the formation of the Ezo state, the Ainu experienced a cultural renaissance under the protection of the Russians. A modified Cyrillic alphabet was created in 1840 for the Ainu language. Many Ainu converted to Christianity during this period as well. In 1868, after the Russian Succession Crisis, the new Czar sought to focus on expansion in the Pacific. A political dispute between Ainu clans was used as an opportunity by the Russian Imperial Navy to annex Ainu lands.

First Ainu state (1837-1868)

Russian Iedzo (1868-1929)

Ainu National Republic (1929-)

See also