March 27, 2013

Exhibition of "An Ainu Portrait: Asir Rera" in Tokyo: March 27 - April 2, 2013

A quick post on an exhibition starting today of photographer Makiko Ui's "An Ainu Portrait: Asir Rera" in Tokyo. As you may know, AINU PRIDE PRODUCTIONS was involved in the English translation of the photo collection published in 2011. Details of the exhibition are as follows:


Exhibition - "An Ainu Portrait: Asir Rera"

Date: March 27 - April 2, 2013
Time: 11:00 - 18:00

Venue: Shiraya Art Space
1-4-12 Misono-cho, Kodaira-shi, Tokyo
(2 minutes walking distance from Kodaira Station, Seibu Shinjuku Line)

Contact: 090-3207-8366

Admission: FREE

*Special Opening Party to be held from 18:00 on March 27
featuring Kazutoki Umezu on sax & clarinet 
(please bring refreshments!)


March 17, 2013

Ainu Events March 16, 17, 19 in Kurashiki, Tokyo, Sapporo

Several Ainu events going on this weekend and next week!


Ainu Music featured at the Kurashiki Music Festival

The Kurashiki Music Festival in Okayama (March 10-20) is featuring a wide array of Ainu artists and performers on March 16 and 17! A rare opportunity to see this many Ainu artists in Western Japan.

Dates: March 16 (Sat) & 17 (Sun)


Speech on Ainu Oral Traditions
with Prof. Jirota Kitahara 
March 16, 11:30
March 17, 11:00
at Kurashiki Geibunkan Hall

-PAYKAR, Spring-
performance by KAPIW & APAPPO 
March 16, 11:00 & 15:00
March 17, 10:30 & 15:30
at Kurashiki Geibunkan Ai Theater

-Tonkori & Songs of the Heart -
performance by SANPE & KAPIW 
March 16, 13:00
March 17, 12:30 
at Kurashiki Geibunkan Ai Theater

-Ainu Music, Tradition and the Future-
performance by SANPE & YAYRENKA 
March 16, 14:00
March 17, 14:30 
at Kurashiki Geibunkan Ai Theater

-Song, Dance, and Musical Instruments-
performance by SANPE & YAYRENKA 
March 16, 10:45
March 17, 10:15 
at Kurashiki Geibunkan Lobby Stage

-Ainu Traditional Dance-
performance by Team Nikaop & MAREWREW 
March 16, 13:30
March 17, 15:00 
at Kurashiki Geibunkan Outdoor Stage

-Ainu Circle Dance-
performance by Team Nikaop & MAREWREW 
March 16, 15:15
March 17, 13:15 
at Kurashiki Geibunkan Lobby Stage

-Stepping Kicking Bear Spirit-
Puppet Theater Performance
March 16, 16:00
March 17, 14:00 
at Kurashiki Geibunkan Hall


Film Showing "Haruzo: A Life Among the Spirits"

Date: March 16 (Sat)
Time: 10:00 & 14:00 (two showings)

Venue: Mokuba Kobo, Gallery Mokuba
3-17-13 Motohongocho, Hachioji, Tokyo

Tickets: 1500 yen (w/ coffee and dango)


Ainu Culture Square

Date: March 19 (Tue)
Time: 13:00 - 17:00

Venue: Sapporo Station Underground Passageway
Kita 3-jo Crossing Square, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Admission: Free

13:00 - 13:45  Urepa Club Report & Performance
13:55 - 14:40  Tonkori performance by OKI
14:45 - 15:30  Panel Discussion with OKI, Hideo Akibe, Toru Kaizawa, Prof. Yuko Honda
15:35 - 16:05  Urepa Club Performance
16:10 - 17:00  Ainu Museum Performance

Produced by: Sapporo University Urespa Club


March 5, 2013

March 9 & 10, 2013: OKI & Marewrew in Tokyo

OKI and Marewrew are wrapping up their visit in Hawaii for the Ainu Treasures performance at the East-West Center. If you weren't around for their show in Hawaii, be sure to catch their upcoming performances in Tokyo!



OKI and Marewrew will be joining Ryuichi Sakamoto, ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, and other renowned Japanese artists for the NO NUKES 2013 concert. While NO NUKES 2013 is scheduled for both March 9 and 10, OKI and Marewrew will be performing on March 9.

Date: March 9 (Sat), 2013
Time: OPEN 12:00 / START 13:00 (END 21:30)

Venue: Zepp DiverCity TOKYO

1st Floor Standing, One-Day 5000 yen
1st Floor Standing, Two-Day 9000 yen
2nd Floor Reserved, One-Day 6000 yen

*Two-Day Tickets not available for 2nd Floor Reserved
*Children 6 and under are free accompanied by an adult


Bakuracho Music Festival vol. 2

Marewrew will join the Bakurocho Band for a live performance.

Date: Mach 10 (Sun), 2013
Time: OPEN 17:30 / START 18:30

Venue: Bakuracho ART+EAT
Tel: 03-6413-8049

Tickets: Presale 3000 yen / Door 3500 yen
*includes one drink
*elementary school children and under are free


March 2, 2013

Ainu Epics on TV and Ainu Art & Crafts in Tokyo: March 4 - 12, 2013

This coming week: Ainu Epics will be featured on educational TV programming, and two exhibits on Ainu art and craft will begin in Tokyo. Details are below!


from program website (below)

"Ainu Shinyoshu (Epics featuring Gods)"
featured on NHK E-TV (Educational Television)

Date: March 4 (Mon) and March 11 (Mon), 2013
Time: 09:15 - 09:25

Ohanashino Kuni Classic (Storyland Classic)

Ishida Hikari (Narration)
Hitomi Kihara (Reading in Ainu)

Web (in Japanese only):


Nibutani Ita  Nibutani Attus
-Kaizawa Folk Craft-

Date: March 4 (Mon) - 9 (Sat), 2013
Time: 11:00 - 19:00
(starts at 14:00 on first day, ends at 17:00 on final day)

Venue: Gallery MOZART
YK Bldg 1F, 1-6-14 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

The craft of the Ainu, passed down for centuries, has been recognized as "traditional craftwork" by the Japanese government. Please come view this traditional craftwork of the Ainu that has been passed down in the Nibutani region.

(Please also see blogpost on Gallery MOZART's involvement in Ainu art)


Koji Yuki & Atsushi Hirata Exhibition

Date: March 7 (Thu) - 12 (Tue), 2013
Time: OPEN 12:00 - 20:00

Special Event:
A Night of Storytelling

Date: March 9 (Sat), 2013
Time: 19:00 -
Fee: 2000 yen

Venue for Exhibition & Special Event:
Coffee & Gallery Runan
1-9-6 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-0035
Tel: 03-3724-1785

(Please also see our blogpost on last year's exhibition)


February 24, 2013

Report: 16th Annual Ainu Speech Contest & AINU ART at Hokkaido MOMA

The day started with a trip to the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, which was filled with many familiar faces and bigwigs in the Ainu community. Unfortunately photos were not allowed in the exhibit itself, so I have none to share personally... however, there are a few photos that others have taken that are shared on AINU PRIDE PRODUCTION's facebook page

It was an excellent exhibit starting with traditional crafts, particularly a thorough collection of exquisitely carved ikupasuy libation sticks and a look into the history of how woodcarvings of bears was introduced into Ainu culture. The exhibit also included the delicate embroidery of Mieko Cikap, abstract wooden shapes of Nuburi Toko, lifelike woodcarvings of Takeki Fujito, bold cloth designs of Noriko Kawamura, and more works from many modern artists.

The exhibit will be at the Hokkaido MOMA until March 24th, so definitely make your way there before it ends!

The Ainu Speech Contest began in the afternoon and ran for nearly 6 hours, featuring over 40 participants ranging from the very young in the children's division to grandparents in the adult divisions (which included both traditional oral performances and current speech presentations). It was reassuring seeing so many people putting such time and dedication to keeping the Ainu language alive. 

In addition to the two Ainu-related events, there were quite a lot of Ainu-related things we saw here and there - the most prominent being the display in the main underground walkway of Sapporo. 

Also the Super Kamui Limited Express train to Asahikawa... (kamuy means god/spirit in Ainu, not sure if it is appropriate to use for a train and/or in combination with "super")

Please come see our photo album on our Facebook page to see more photos from our Hokkaido trip!


February 23, 2013

Ainu Events in Yokohama, Ebetsu, Matsusaka - February 23 & 24, 2013

More Ainu events taking place this weekend, February 23 & 24, 2013!


Gathering for Ainu Cultural Exchange
Welcoming the Obihiro Kamuyto Upopo Preservation Society

See a performance of traditional Ainu singing and dancing from the renowned Obihiro Kamuyto Upopo Preservation Society

Date: February 23, 2013 (Sat)
Time:  17:30 - 20:00
Admission: Free

Venue: Yokohama City Education Hall
53 Momijigaoka, Nishiku, Yokohama

Organized by: Gathering for Ainu Cultural Exchange Executive Committee
Promoted by: Kanagawa Human Rights Center
Tel: 045-271-1455


25th Annual Ainu Culture Festival
International Decade of the World's Indigenous People

Celebrate the Second "International Decade of the World's Indigenous People" as declared by the United Nations by learning about the indigenous Ainu people.

Date: February 24, 2013 (Sun)
Time: 13:00 - 15:10
Admission: Free

Venue: Ebetsu City Community Center
11-1, 5-chome 3-jo, Ebetsu, Hokkaido


12:30  Doors Open
13:00  Opening Ceremony
13:20  Ainu Traditional Dance (1)
(cultural preservation organizations from Mukawa and Samani)
13:40  Workshops
13:55  Special Performance by Ainu Performance Group MOSHIRI
14:35  Intermission
14:45  Ainu Traditional Dance (2)

(cultural preservation organizations from Sapporo and Chitose)
15:05  Presentation on Traditional Clothing & Finale

Registration: Hokkaido Ainu Association
TEL: 011-221-0462


18th Annual Takeshiro Festival

Come to the birthplace of the Takeshiro Matsuura, the man who came up with the name "Hokkaido," to learn about the Ainu people with whom he had established a special bond.

Date: February 24, 2013 (Sun)
Time: 10:00 - 15:30
Admission: Free

Venue: Takeshiro Matsuura Memorial Museum
383 Onoecho, Matsusaka, Mie Prefecture
(special shuttle buses will be arranged from Ise Nakagawa Station)


10:00  Opening Ceremony
10:25  Brass band performance by local middle school students
10:55  Learning from Takeshiro Matsuura: presentations from local 6th graders
11:15  Ainu Traditional Dance (1): Ankoraci Menoko Utar
12:15  Dance performance by local middle school students
12:25  Games and prizes with mascot character "Takechan"
13:00  Shakuhachi and koto performance by local cultural group
13:25  Mie Prefecture tourism campaign
13:45  Ainu Traditional Dance (2): Ankoraci Menoko Utar
14:40  Shongai Odori (Matsusaka traditional dance)
15:10  Finale

Web (in Japanese only):


February 14, 2013

Ainu Events for February 15, 17, & 18, 2013

Ainu events this upcoming week/weekend for February 15, 17, and 18, 2013!


Ainu Culture Public Seminar "Kiroroan"
"Ainu Culture and I –Working with Wood, Every Day-“

Mr. Kaizawa has created numerous works through the traditional Ainu art of woodcraft. His works embody the spirit of the artist, with a high level of aesthetics and technique, strength and gentleness. Join us to hear Mr. Kaizawa discuss his experience working with wood every day, and his recent efforts in creative expression.

Date: February 15, 2013 (Fri) 
Time: 19:00-20:30
Venue: Tokyo Ainu Culture Center
(3F Urban Square Yaesu, 2-4-13 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)

Instructor: Toru Kaizawa (Ainu crafts artist, currently residing in Biratori, Hokkaido)
Admission: Free (No reservations necessary)
Capacity: 40 people


Forum “Prehistoric Culture of the Far North –Hokkaido, Kuriles, Kamchatka”

Date: February 17, 2013 (Sun)
Time: 13:30 – 16:00
Venue: Asahikawa City Museum
1F Folk Study Room (3-7 Kagura)

“Fishing Culture of Kamchatka”
Shigenobu Sugiura (Furano City Museum)

“Archeology of the Kurile Islands”
Hiroshi Ushiro (Historical Museum of Hokkaido)

“Dwarf Legends and Establishment of the Kurile Ainu”
Takuro Segawa (Asahikawa City Museum)

Admission: Free
Capacity: 50 people
Please call the Asahikawa City Museum at 0166-69-2004 for reservations

Organized by Asahikawa City Museum and Furano City Museum

Download the flyer (PDF in Japanese):


19th Symposium on People of the Freezing Sea
(Subcommittee of 28th International Symposium on Northern Regions)

Theme: Learn together, play together

Lecture 1: “On the Bear Ceremony Held in Mombetsu 60 Years Ago”
Jirota Kitahara, Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies

Lecture 2: “Dance and Sing, Have Fun with the Ainu Language”

Date: February 18, 2013 (Mon)
Time: 13:00-16:00

Venue: Mombetsu City Culture Center
3 Saiwai-cho, Mombetsu

Admission: Free

Organized by:
Executive Committee for Symposium on Nothern Culture

Download the flyer (PDF in Japanese):