On the territory of Japan there is a village in which the Ainu live - the indigenous people of the region. This village is home to their largest community. The Ainu living here are happy to share with tourists their culture and history, which they managed to preserve and spend through hundreds of years, despite oppression and persecution.
History of the Ainu people
Native Japanese now live in the very north of the country, on the territory of the island of Hokkaido. About 200 thousand people live on the island. For most of their lives, they were engaged in gathering, birding and hunting. The Ainu have preserved their own language, culture and customs, which are kept with trepidation for several thousand years.
Many centuries ago, the Ainu lived throughout Japan and Kamchatka, Sakhalin and the Kuriles. In the nineteenth century, the Japanese government began persecuting and relocating the Ainu to the far north of the country, depriving them of their homes, cultures, and the ability to follow a traditional way of life. Only a few years ago, the government of the country included the Ainu in the official list of indigenous peoples inhabiting Japan.
To get acquainted with their history, travelers come to Hokkaido, where several museums and archaeological monuments are dedicated to the Ainu. A rich ancient culture has been preserved on the southern shore of Lake Akan, where the largest village of the mysterious people is located. The area is famous for its hot springs and beautiful unique nature.
Traditions of the people
About 40 indigenous Ainu families live on Lake Akan, who welcome travelers from all over the world and tell them about their history and origins. Representatives of the ancient people sell souvenirs, prepare traditional dishes for guests and take them to houses where they show the structure of local life. A theater was built near the lake, where the Ainu show tourists puppet shows based on ancient fairy tales and epics. Also on the stage you can see ceremonial dances and hear chants. The Ainu make embroidery items, magical amulets and musical instruments that anyone can buy as a souvenir.
The most popular souvenir that travelers carry from the village of the Ainu – makiri: these are daggers that are used by the indigenous people for hunting or fishing. Men who want to pay attention to their beloved make minoko makiri for them - daggers that are used by women in everyday life. Music lovers can purchase a bamboo idiphone , a musical instrument that is used by local musicians during the performance of folk melodies and songs.