Tokyo Notebook

-・- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -・- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.

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12 2012

Sapporo Pirika Kotan

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One day in Sapporo, our midmorning business was over and had free time until the evening. Then we headed to the place I had wanted to go: the culture center of Ainu, Sapporo Pirika Kotan (meaning “a beautiful village in Sapporo” in Ainu).

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Left: The modern-looking main building
Right: There was the reproducing ancient village.

Ainu is an indigenous group in the northern islands including Hokkaido.
Surrounded by nature of the southern part of the Sapporo City, the center located within an hour’s drive from the downtown introduces their livelihood, history and art. It wasn’t a huge facility but was really an interesting place to visit.

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A thatched house called Cise (a house in Ainu)

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A traditional seagoing craft

The inside of the center also had an exhibition room, information corner, lecture room, hall and so on. We could touch and hold clothing and traditional folk handicrafts that were exhibited in the exhibit room.

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The clothes made from cotton and birch-bark

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Looking back my childhood, carved wooden figures of a bear (with salmon in its mouth) and dolls were respectfully placed at the entrance of my house. The wood carving represents the culture was a popular souvenir from Hokkaido in the past. If those weren’t made up by Ainu, I simply felt closer to Ainu through them. Besides the carving, I do think more Ainu culture had been there with me at that time.

When I see the scene in the picture below, I then expected Colobockle (Ainu’s legendary dwarfs who lived the land before Ainu) might come out from the grove….

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Posted by Kinakinw | 16:39 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Travel & Hot Spring

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