The women tattoo, beginning in girlhood. The patterns are cut in the flesh with a razor and soot is rubbed into the lines; to render the 96color permanent, water in which ash-tree bark has been steeped is rubbed over the part tattooed. The tattooing first done is at the centre of the upper lip; later the lower lip. The marks are added to from time to time until they cover the upper lip and reach from ear to ear. Such women appear to have a great moustache. After marriage a woman’s forehead may be tattooed, also patterns may be made up the backs of the hands and on the arms, and rings may be tattooed around her fingers.
Ainu clothing is generally made of elm bark, and that worn by men and women is much alike. The bark is stripped from the tree in spring, when it is full of sap. It is soaked in water to separate the inner and outer bark. Fibres are secured from the inner bark, which can be woven like thread into cloth. The men’s garments of this fibre cloth are adorned with patterns embroidered with colored threads; those of women are generally plain.
The fifth day of the fifth month is the Boys’ Festival. Then they are selling bows and arrows and other toy weapons everywhere. Everywhere they hang out great paper fishes, shaped like carp, and brightly painted. These are hung to tall bamboo poles of which there is one set in front of every house where they have a boy in the family. One fish is hung for each boy, and it is a gay sight to see the hundreds of bright fish waving and tossing in the wind. The reason 92why the carp is represented is because it swims up the river against the current; so it is hoped “the sturdy boy, overcoming all obstacles, will make his way in the world and rise to fame and fortune.”