The aim of this paper is to reflect on contemporary issues surrounding the archaeological heritage and the Ainu in Hokkaido. More specifically, I would like to focus on the original characteristics of the archaeological past in northern Japan, especially on Hokkaido Island. Through this discussion, I would also like to demonstrate how archaeology can provide an effective and significant mechanism for recognizing the cultural diversity of the archaeological past and its role in the formation of the identity of contemporary Ainu people.