February 24, 2012

REPORT: Gallery MOZART & Riwkakant Planetarium Concert

February 11, 2012 

I was able to visit the Ainu Modern Art Exhibit at Gallery MOZART and then later head to Tsukuba to see the Riwkakant Planetarium Concert.

The Exhibit featured a wide variety of different Ainu artists working in different media, and ranging from relatively more traditional styles to the quite modern. 

Woodblock Print by Koji Yuki

Tapestry by Yoko Koyama

Woodcarving by Toru Kaizawa

Handkerchiefs by Tamami Kaizawa

(More photos from the exhibit are available in our Facebook photo album.)

(Please contact AINU PRIDE PRODUCTIONS if you are interested in purchasing any of these works.)

The Riwkakant Planetarium Concert was quite an interesting experience, as we were treated to a unique fusion of songs, sound, and light.

From http://riwkakant.blogspot.com/
While the concert was only a one-time experience (Riwkakant does not normally do live performances), you can still catch "Stars of the Ainu" Planetarium show until February 26, or you can purchase Riwkakant's CD from the blog/website, which includes many of the songs featured in the show.

Takeshi Kainuma + Toko Emi = Riwkakant

February 22, 2012

March 2-15, 2012: OKI DUB AINU BAND -Revolution Year 1 Tour 2012- & Marewrew Performances

OKI DUB AINU BAND will be traveling across Japan on their -Revolution Year 1 Tour 2012-. The tour will start in Nagasaki and travel across western Japan up to Tokyo. Basic dates and location are below, and further details in Japanese are available at http://www.tonkori.com/schedule (please contact us if you require any assistance or information). 

There are other performances by OKI DUB AINU BAND not technically part of the tour that are also scheduled in March, as well as a few performances by Marewrew. 

Definitely check them out if you have a chance!


March 2, 2012 (Fri)
in Isahaya, Nagasaki

-Revolution Year 1 Tour 2012-

Time: 19:00
4F Clover Bldg., 8-4 Sakae-machi, Isahaya, Nagasaki
Tel: 0957-22-7799
Tickets: Adv 2500 yen/ Door 3500 yen (both include 1 drink)
for tickets, contact: gojigen@i.softbank.jp


March 3, 2012 (Sat)
in Saga

-Revolution Year 1 Tour 2012-

Time: 19:00 OPEN/ 19:30 START
Venue: Rock Ride
2-4 Gofuku-motomachi, Saga
Tel: 0952-26-2687 / Fax: 0952-26-5004

Tickets: Adv 3000 yen/ Door 3500 yen (+1 drink order)
Lawson L Code: 85577


March 4, 2012 (Sun)
in Fukuoka

-Revolution Year 1 Tour 2012-

Time: 19:00 OPEN/ 20:00 START
Venue: ROOMS
3F Daimyo ONO Bldg., 2-1-50 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Tel: 092-751-0075

Tickets: Adv 3000 yen/ Door 3500 yen (+1 drink order)
Ticket Pia 0570-02-9999 / P Code: 159-516


March 6, 2012 (Tue)
in Ube, Yamaguchi

-Revolution Year 1 Tour 2012-

Time: 19:00 OPEN/ 20:00 START
2F Kajiyama Bldg., 17-15 Matsushima-cho, Ube, Yamaguchi
Tel: 0836-29-0434
Email: info@bighip.co.jp
Tickets: Adv 3000 yen/ Door 3500 yen (+1 drink order)


March 7, 2012 (Wed)
in Okayama

-Revolution Year 1 Tour 2012-

Time: 19:00 OPEN/ 19:30 START
Venue: Desperado
3-11-105 Omote-machi, Kita-ku, Okayama
Tel: 086-225-5044 / Fax: 086-225-2763

Tickets: Adv 3000 yen/ Door 3500 yen (+1 drink order)
 Call above number to reserve tickets!


March 8, 2012 (Thu)
in Himeji, Hyogo

-Revolution Year 1 Tour 2012-

Time: 19:00 OPEN/ 20:00 START
Venue: fab-space 
B1F Kyoei Bldg., Uo-machi, Himeji, Hyogo
Tel: 079-222-2882 
Email: info@club-fab.com

Tickets: Adv 3000 yen/ Door 3500 yen 


March 8, 2012 (Thu)
in Osaka

Marewrew Festival -Million Strong Upopo- Osaka vol. 2

Time: 18:00 OPEN/ 19:00 START
Venue: Shangri-La

Tickets: Adv 3000 yen/ Door 3500 yen


March 10, 2012 (Sat)
in Kyoto

Tohoku Earthquake Support Event -Sound Stage of Life-
(featuring OKI DUB AINU BAND, Marewrew, others)
Time: 10:00-
AM - Ceremony & Speech
PM - Concert

Venue: Higashi-honganji Temple, Kyoto
Admission: Free


March 11, 2012 (Sun)
in Higashi-Shinsaibashi, Osaka

-Revolution Year 1 Tour 2012-

Time: 18:30 OPEN/ 19:30 START
Email: info@conpass.jp

Tickets: Adv 3000 yen/ Door 3500 yen (drinks not included)
Lawson (L52894)

March 12, 2012 (Mon)
in Nagoya

-Revolution Year 1 Tour 2012-

Time: 18:30 OPEN/ 19:30 START
Venue: Tokuzo
2F Blue Star Bldg., 1-6-8 Imaike, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya
Tel: 052-733-3709
Email: info@tokuzo.com

Tickets: Adv 3000 yen/ Door 3500 yen
P Code: 159-097

March 14, 2012 (Wed)
in Toyohashi, Aichi

-Revolution Year 1 Tour 2012-

Time: 20:00
Venue: Greenstone Cafe
118-1 Michishita, Ushikawa-cho, Toyohashi, Aichi
Tel: 0532-39-5979

Tickets: Adv 3000 yen/ Door 3500 yen
Email greenstonecafe@nifty.com to reserve

March 15, 2012 (Thu)
in Shibuya, Tokyo

OORUTAICHI's Tokyo Power Spot
-Even Steiner vol. 6-
(featuring OKI DUB AINU BAND)
Time: 18:30 OPEN/ 19:00 START
Venue: WWW 
B1F Rise Bldg., 13-17 Utagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03-5458-7685 

Tickets: Adv 2800 yen/ Door 3300 yen (drinks not included, all standing)
Ticket Pia Tel: 0570-02-9999 / P Code: 160-838
Lawson L Code: 77416
e-plus: <PC> <Mobile>


March 3, 2012: The Ainu Museum Fair in Sendai

The Ainu Museum in Shiraoi, Hokkaido will be holding a fair in Sendai, including workshops, performances, and exhibits. This will be a opportunity for those in northern Honshu to get a taste of the Ainu Museum experience without having to go all the way to Hokkaido.


The Ainu Museum Fair in Sendai
-Together with the Folk Art of Miyagi-

Date/Time: March 3, 2012 (Sat) 12:30-16:30
Venue: Sendai City Youth Culture Center, Theater Hall
Admission: Free
Contact: Cultural Assets Bureau, Sendai City Hall (022-214-8892)


13:00 - 14:55 
Part 1: Spreading Ainu Culture from Shiraoi to the World
- Organizer's Greetings
- Mukkur Workshop
- Speech by Tomoe Nakano, Ainu Museum curator:
  "Ainu History & Culture -The Connection Between Shiraoi and Sendai-"
- Ainu prayer, song, and dance performance
  Kamuynomi (prayer to the gods)
  Mukkur performance
  Iyohay'ocis (impromptu song)
  Sarorun cikap rimse (crane dance)
  Iyomante rimse (dance of the bear-sending ceremony)

15:10 - 16:30 
Part 2: Let's Connect People to People, From Today to Tomorrow
- Performance: Ogatsu Hoinkagura (Ogatsu Hoinkagura Preservation Society)
- Performance: The Rice-Planting Dance of Akiu (Yumoto Rice-Planting Dance Preservation Society)
- Finale: Ainu Traditional Dance Yaysamanena
- Closing Greetings


February 20, 2012

February 25, 2012: Ainu Culture Workshop "Ainu Traditional Cuisine: Yuk Ohaw (Deer Stew) and Others"

There will be an Ainu cuisine workshop at the Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples with Midori Toko, the proprietor of the Ainu cafe Poronno in the Ainu community at Akan.


Ainu Culture Workshop 
"Ainu Traditional Cuisine: Yuk Ohaw (Deer Stew) and Others"

Date/Time: February 25 (Sat) 10:00-13:30
Venue: Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples
309-1 Shiomi, Abashiri, Hokkaido

Instructor: Midori Toko (Ainu Cultural Expert)
Capacity: 25
Insurance fee: 100 yen

Please bring: Apron, bandana, towel 
*Reservations required, please confirm requirements

Contact: Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples
Tel: 0152-45-3888

(Hokkaido College, Museum Point Service applicable)


February 23-27, 2012: The Beauty of Tradition & Creation -2011 Ainu Folk Art Exhibit-

An exhibit of traditional folk craft by various Ainu artists will be held in Tokyo this week. Many of these artists have their own craftwork companies, studios, and workshops - please contact us if you are interested in obtaining some of their goods or would like further information.


The Beauty of Tradition & Creation 
-2011 Ainu Folk Art Exhibit-

Date: February 23 (Thu) - 27 (Mon)
Time: 10:00 - 18:00

Venue: Tokyo Tower 3F Gallery
4-2-8 Shiba Park, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Embroidery workshop with Takeko Kaizawa
Live woodcarving by Shigeru Araki
Live embroidery by Mika Ishii

Tahachi Urakawa

Fumitoshi Kaizawa
Sanae Ogawa
Nobuo Yoshida
Toru Kaizawa
Koji Kaizawa
Yuji Yamada
Kaoru Morita
Hideo Akibe
Yukari Naganawa
Machiko Kato



February 17, 2012

February 17-19, 2012: Ainu Design Exhibition in Okinawa

Following their Exhibition in Tokyo, the Kanto Utari Association have taken their exhibition to Haebaru, Okinawa.

Ainu Design Exhibition in Okinawa

Date & Time:
February 17 (Fri) - 19 (Sun) 
10:00 - 18:00
*A special performance of the tonkori will be held on 18 (Sat) & 19 (Sun)!
Haebaru Culture Center
257 Kyan, Haebaru-cho
Tel: 098-889-7399

*5 minute walk from Ouji Station

Admission: Free

080-3471-0953 Maruko
090-6472-0586 Yahata
090-9389-6491 Kitahara

Organized by:
Kanto Utari Association


February 16, 2012

February 17, 2012: Ainu Culture Public Seminar "Kiroroan"

Kiroroan means "happy" or "fun" in the Ainu language, and is the title of the Ainu Culture Public Seminar series regularly held by the Tokyo Ainu Culture Center. The next seminar will be held February 17 at 19:00:


Ainu Culture Public Seminar "Kiroroan"
"Winter Hunting Practices of the Ainu People"

Among the Ainu, hunting was largely practiced by the men based in their abundant knowledge of nature and animals. The most active season for hunting was deep into autumn through to spring. An Ainu hunter in clothing adorned with colorful designs, taking aim at his prey in the snow - a scene often depicted in postcards, but is it true to fact? Professor Okada will share his expertise about traditional Ainu hunting practices and the beliefs of the Ainu about receiving life from animals.
Date/Time: February 17 (Friday) 19:00-20:30
Venue: Tokyo Ainu Culture Center
(3F Urban Square Yaesu, 2-4-13 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)

Instructor: Prof. Michiaki Okada (Tomakomai Komazawa University)
Admission: Free (No reservations necessary)
Capacity: 40 people


Round-up for February

Following up on my previous entry, a quick round-up of events that took place in early February:


February 4 saw the event Pursuing "Susuriwka" through Video (details in Japanese here), a reflection through discussion and video viewing on the collaborative work between the tonkori musician OKI and Santee Smith of the Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. The event included a showing of "A Battle on the Bridge - The Creation of Susuriwka," a making-of documentary on the collaboration (and for which AINU PRIDE PRODUCTIONS helped produce the English subtitles for). 

A clip of "Susuriwka" (meaning 'willow bridge' in Ainu) is available below:


Also on February 4, the National Museum of Japanese History held its 6th History Museum Forum on the theme of "Preservation of Ainu Culture -Videos that Connect People with Memory, and People with People-" (details in Japanese here). The event featured a showing of various videos created by the museum documenting the current efforts of Ainu cultural preservation in Hokkaido, with comments and discussions from members of the community and lectures from experts in related fields.


Finally, on February 7 an event was held in Tokyo that featured Koji Yuki and Shoji Fukumoto from Ainu Art Project for an evening of Ainu story-telling and performance on the tonkori.


February 15, 2012

Launching of the Ainu Party of Japan (& Round-up for January)

Apologies for not updating for a while, unfortunately I missed posting on some major events before they happened - but here's a quick round-up of some of the events that took place at the end of January in this post (events for the beginning of February will be in a separate post).

If you would like more details about these events, please leave a comment or contact us.

A major event was the launch of the Ainu Party of Japan (website here) that took place on January 21 in Sapporo (video in Japanese):

The Party is led by Shiro Kayano, son of the late Shigeru Kayano, the only Ainu representative to the Japanese Diet so far. The ceremony was attended by leaders in the Ainu community including Shizue Ukaji and Yuji Shimizu, as well as a delegation from the Maori Party of Aotearoa (New Zealand). 

Read articles regarding the event here:


Another event that took place on January 21 was the Ainu Forum Hokkaido 2012 in Shiraoi. The event featured speakers, an Ainu puppet play, and presentations by students from the Urespa Project at Sapporo University (a scholarship & educational program that AINU PRIDE PRODUCTIONS supports).


Finally, Ainu Art Project had a live musical performance at an art event on January 27 in Sapporo to celebrate "The Start of 2012 the Year of the Dragon."


February 11, 2012

February 2-12, 2012: Ainu Modern Art Exhibit @ Gallery MOZART

Apologies for the late notice - this exhibit was on from last week but I haven't been able to update recently. Hopefully those that are interested will still be able to catch the tail end (TODAY & TOMORROW!) of this exhibit at Gallery MOZART.

The exhibit features works from a variety of different Ainu artists, including Yuki Koji, who previously had a solo exhibit at the gallery.


Ainu Modern Art Exhibit

Date: February 2 (Thu) - 12 (Mon)
Time: 11:00 - 19:00 (17:00 on final day)
Venue: Gallery MOZART
YK Bldg 1F, 1-6-14 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

The Ainu people are trying to create the beauty of art and crafts, based in their traditions and connecting to a culture for their future. We hope that you can find value in their art, from the shared spirit of appreciating beauty.

Featured Artists:
Koji Kaizawa
Setsuko Kaizawa
Takeko Kaizawa
Tamami Kaizawa
Toru Kaizwa
Mamoru Kaizwa
Yoko Koyama
Koji Yuki