National Geographic : 1953 Jul
100 Philip Kuhn Bearded Ainu, Survivor of Japan's Prehistoric People, Sits Proudly Among His Trophies Perry's men, visiting Hakodate in 1854, saw descendants of Japan's original inhabitants, the Ainus. Today only a few thousand of these hairy, primitive people remain in Japan. Here an Ainu patriarch and his wife wear ceremonial costumes; he reaches for his formal straw hat. Prized lacquer jars along the wall were given to his ancestors by feudal lords in payment for bearskins. Mustachelike tattooing decorates the lips of the woman; additional tattoo markings encircle her wrists. of the fabulous Buddha but also the beach which, more than any other, is the Coney Island of Japan. On hot week ends as many as 200,000 in a single day pour into Kamakura for swimming and sunshine. The narrow streets are alive with men in white sport shirts, women and girls in neat white cotton dresses. Many of them stop on the way to the beach to play pachinko, a kind of vertical pinball game which is the craze of contemporary Japan. From the dunes behind the beach you can hardly see the sand. The crowds, covering every inch, are a microcosm of the population problem in a country where 85 millions live in an area smaller than California. Bathers in the choppy sea are as thick as sea birds on a Pacific island. The amusement park at Kamakura is as popular as the sea itself, but, unlike ours, it is built right on the sand. When I was there, a 30-foot Ferris wheel was giving Japanese youngsters the thrill of their lives. The most popular of all the beach attractions was a toy train which was taking children on a ride around an oval track behind a tiny stream lined engine (page 94). This toy train at Kamakura was a direct descendant of the miniature train which Perry gave the Emperor a hundred years ago, on an other beach only a few miles away. Before Perry started the long voyage home, his ships steamed out of Tokyo Bay to visit Shimoda, at the southern end of the beautiful Izu Peninsula. This was one of the two ports opened by Perry's treaty.