After over a century of persecution, the Ainu people were recognized as the indigenous people of Japan in 2008. By that time, assimilation policies had nearly extinguished the Ainu language. Population counts range from 25 thousand to over 200 thousand, as many do not acknowledge their ancestry. HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on the first international exhibit by the Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies, on view at the East West Center Gallery.
“Ainu Treasures: Living Tradition in Northern Japan” continues at the East West Center Gallery through May 5th. Guest curator Koji Yamasaki, will discuss his work with the Ainu community on May 5th, 2pm at the gallery.
For more on the exhibition:
More on Sarah Strong's translation of Chiri Yukie's collection of Ainu songs, "Ainu Spirits Singing"
More on Ainu cultural expert, Chiri Yukie: