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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ainu Museum - Poroto Kotan - (アイヌ民族博物館 しらおいポロトコタン)| Shiraoi

Ainu is the indigenous people of Hokkaido with their own culture and language. Several tens of thousands of Ainu still live in Hokkaido and other areas.
An Ainu settlement, originally in Shiraoi's urban district, was moved and restored by Lake Poroto in 1965 as an outdoor museum.

Let's go to the "Ainu Museum - Poroto Kotan - (アイヌ民族博物館 しらおいポロトコタン)"!

Near the entrance, the huge statue of Kotan Korukuru (which means a village chief) welcomes you!

The facility has five cises, thatched houses for Ainu people, and

we can enjoy Ainu cultural performance there! 

This is mukkuri, a mouth harp made of bamboo. How beautiful and dynamic the sound is!

This is tonkori, a kind of stringed instrument. I love this gentle sound!

They also sing their lullaby, and perform some of their folk dance! Very interesting! The show lasts for about 20-30 minutes in total.

Look at the ceiling! The salmon is being smoked! Actually one of my tour guests bought this smoked salmon! This used to be a typical reserved food for Ainu during the winter time.

The facility also include a botanical garden, an animal barn, and so on. This is pu, a food storage, built on stilts in order to keep food stuff (dried fish, seafood, and millet) safe from moisture and rats mainly.

Let's go to the museum in the same compound, too!

Some of their kimono is made of bark, and some of their shoes are made of salmon skin...........

We can also learn their rituals, such as Iomante, a bear festival. Please learn how they viewed beers as sacred animals!

Look at Lake Poroto! How beautiful it is! Potoro means lake in Ainu language.

There are some souvenir shops near the entrance. Actually I bought some Ainu embroideries!

This is their typical wood craft! Ainu regard many animals as sacred, and the beer is the chief of all animals. They also believe that their deities can incarnate into beers, and roam the earth to keep an eye on their followers.

■Where is "Ainu Museum - Poroto Kotan - (アイヌ民族博物館 しらおいポロトコタン)"?

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■Tour guide information■
Do you need a nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide when you travel to Hokkaido?I'll guide you! Plz click here!


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