This article argues that many contemporary female Ainu performance-activists from the Ainu community of Japan, including a performance scene led by Ainu huci (female elders) at an Ainu cultural education center in Sapporo, Japan, engage in performance of desubjectification, which emphasizes the sameness of their humanity with the dominant Japanese rather than arguing for Ainu ethnic difference or their colonial history. At first glance, their performance and iterations seem detached from the discourse of Indigenous resistance. However, this article demonstrates how such iteration of singularity—sameness—derives from a particular Ainu colonial history and argues that their performance critically eschews colonial and imperial ideas of authenticity, ethnic difference, and the universal human. In doing so, the Ainu performance scene in this article presents itself as a theoretical performance activism against the Western (and Japanese imperial) notion of Indigenous peoples as less-than-human. By using bodies, sound, and sensations, these performers define Ainu Indigeneity in their own terms, and achieve an Ainu Indigenous critique of the “human,” the concept that is built on exclusion and marginalization of ethnic minorities and colonized subjects.

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