Gala Exhibition Opening: Ainu Treasures: A Living Tradition in Northern JapanJanuary 20, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Mānoa Campus, East-West Center Gallery, John A. Burns Hall
Exhibition Gala Opening including reception, invocation ceremony and art demonstration
The Ainu are an indigenous people of Japan. “Ainu” means “human” in the Ainu language. They once inhabited northern Honshu (Japan’s largest island), Hokkaido, southern Sakhalin, and the Kurile Islands. Most Ainu now live in Hokkaido, with a limited number in Tokyo, in other parts of Japan, and abroad.
In recent decades, indigenous people throughout the world have taken the initiative to revive their traditional cultures and the Ainu are no exception. One of the examples of such an attempt is a project for Ainu artists to make replicas of Ainu artifacts owned by various museums. This activity is helpful for the Ainu people to regain what has been lost and integrate the traditional skills of ancestors into contemporary works. Moreover, these new cultural resources inspire both innovation and creativity among Ainu artists.
This exhibition features modern Ainu masterpieces and reproductions of Ainu artifacts held by Hokkaido University’s Botanic Garden Museum; early 20th century Ainu handicrafts from the Bishop Museum in Honolulu; historic and contemporary photographs of Ainu craftsmen; and video clips showing historical and social context.
East-West Center, Mānoa Campus