Ainu

Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples

Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples

We go on an incredible journey into the lives of the Ainu people at the Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples. The true origins of the Ainu people remain a big mystery to this day. It is common knowledge that the Japanese language is inspired by Chinese but it has to be stated that the Ainu speak a language that resembles no other language in Asia or its surroundings.

My initial interest in Abashiri was just to experience the Drift Ice phenomenon that occurs every winter along the coast But as I went around northern Japan, my curiosity for the Ainu people grew with every trip My first foray into the world of Ainu took place at Lake Shikaribetsu The Ainu are an indigenous ethnic group of people who live in Hokkaido in Japan as well as in Russian islands of Kuril and Sakhalin My thirst for knowledge about this ancient culture grew stronger when I had another brush with it at Lake Akan where an entire village exists, recreating the ways of the Ainu This village, known as

Ainu Kotan at Lake Akan

Ainu Kotan is a small Ainu village near Lake Akan. The village comprising some 40 Ainu households live here in scattered huts in an attempt to preserve the Ainu culture. The Ainu are greatly skilled in wood works and various shops can be found in the village selling wood carvings and embroidery.

From the sparkling Lake Mashu, the White Pirika bus rode on towards Lake Akan Shitona, our tour guide told us it was going to be a long ride of about an hour On the way she kept giving out more information about the lake I couldn’t understand a word of Japanese, but Mani translated some of it for me She went on telling us stories of the area She even sang a couple of folk songs for us which I very much liked We rode on, past unspoiled primitive forest in its natural beauty The road to Lake Akan is lined with Sakhalin spruce Lake Akan (阿寒湖, Akanko) is a crater lake in Akan National

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