Chip Taylor Communications

Subject: So. Studies/Sciences: Geography/Cultures

Asian Studies Series

A series of documentaries that offers in-depth studies on the geography, history, culture and people of various Asian countries; also informative perspectives on significant contemporary issues are addressed. Series: 20 programs (20 to 54 minutes). Click for more

Japan: Ainu People of Hokkaido

"Recommended. This program takes us to the Ainu Museum in Shiraoi where an Ainu performer plays the mukkuri (tension jaw harp) and we are introduced to Ainu costumes, fabric, dances, language, and the animistic religious beliefs of the Ainu people. Scholarly debates concerning the origin and history of the Ainu people are also introduced briefly. An anthropologist at the Hokkaido Ainu Center in Sapporo, Christopher Loy, stresses the importance of viewing the Ainu people as comprising a number of groups that share some cultural and linguistic similarities, while at the same time showing great variation in dialects and clothing, embroidered motifs, beliefs, and other defining characteristics." -EMRO Review
After a brief intro to the modern and crowded side of urban Japan, we totally change gears to visit the northernmost of Japan's four main islands, Hokkaido, which is Japan's second largest island, yet accounts for only five percent of the country's population. On the outskirts of the island's largest city, Sapporo, the capital, and most famous for hosting the 1972 Winter Olympics, we visit the Hokkaido Ainu Center, to be introduced to Japan's original inhabitants, the Ainu people, the country's only indigenous culture. Here we meet anthropologist Christopher Loy, who explains many details about this diverse group of people, whose beginnings can be traced back over 7,000 years. We are welcomed into the Shiraoi Ainu Museum by Yamanaru Ikud, an Ainu elder, where we learn about their traditional dance, music, dress, myths and beliefs; also we gain further insight visiting the Nibutani Ainu Cultural Center, which was established to help preserve Ainu culture for future generations. Produced by Kanto Productions, LLC. 2007 JSCA 22 min.
Also See: Japan; Japan; The Japanese Empire: 300 A.D. to 1800 A.D.; Japan: Concrete Jungle; Japan: Sumo Basho

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