Unfortunately, too little
is known of these native
people since they have no written language and
once the spoken word is gone, there is nothing
left. Governmental and private efforts to document
the ways of the Ainu also began quite late.
One such rather unusual custom
tattooing of a girl's lips at puberty (the process was
later completed at around age seventeen or
eighteen); Ainu women submitted to this facial
coloration to signify that they were ready for
marriage. Men came of marriageable age when
their beards had grown to full length.