The Utari Communal Mausoleum houses the ancestral/human remains of 317 Ainu, including those that were forcibly removed from their homes around 120 years ago for the sake of "development," as well as their descendants. Even in death they were not allowed to rest, as in 1963 the remains were dug up from their graves and relocated to a communal graveyard at the city's orders. Prof. Sakuzaemon Kodama, an anthropologist at Hokkaido University, participated in the excavation and took with him the remains and articles of the dead. Following the deterioration of the graveyard's conditions, the Obihiro Branch of the Hokkaido Ainu Association requested that a mausoleum be built. The remains were relocated once again to their current resting place in 1986, and memorial services have been held in remembrance since the following year.
Photo and reference: Online article (in Japanese) from the Tokachi Mainichi Shimbun Newspaper
25th Utari Communal Mausoleum Memorial Service
The memorial service will be held at the Tsutsujigaoka Cemetery in Obihiro.
Date: August 7 (Sunday)
11:00 – Silent Prayer, Flower Offerings
11:45 – Kamuynomi Prayer Ceremony
12:30 – Intermission
13:00 – Traditional Ainu Dancing by the Obihiro Kamuyto Upopo Preservation Society
14:00 – Lecture: Jiro Sasamura
Obihiro Tsutsujigaoka Cemetary, in front of the Obihiro Utari Communal Mausoleum
Nishi 25-jyo, 4-chome, Obihiro
Organized by: Hokkaido Ainu Association, Obihiro Branch
If you would like further information or assistance to participate, please contact AINU PRIDE PRODUCTIONS.