EZO-SHI by Arai Hakuseki (1657-1725). 1720. This book is considered to be the oldest reliable description of the Hokkaido, Sakahlin, and the Kurile Ainu and geography of their lands. It consists of a hand-written text and hand-painted drawings. Arai Hakuseki, a highly respected scholar, examined a large number of documents collected by others who traveled to the Ainu lands. This particular edition is accompanied by illustrations, drawn by an anonymous artist, who produced them based on the actual observation of the Ainu and their way of life. Given the details and vivid colors, which were extremely well-preserved, this copy of Ezo-shi may be the best available today.