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Published on 02.26.2016
Ainu Traditional Dance: A unique dance performance by indigenous Ainu from Tohoku, Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and Kurile Islands. From May to October, traditional Ainu dance performances are held at the Lake Akan Ainu Theater "Ikor" a few times a day starting from 11 a.m. Each performance lasts about thirty minutes. The dancers create a rhythmn by clapping their hands while playing their unique music and singing. This indigenous dance you can see at the Lake Akan Ainu Theater "Ikor" has been performed at various ceremonies and celebrations for over 800 years.
The Ainu people are one of Japan's indeginous ethnic groups. Their small population, which is estimated to be about 25,000 people by the Japanese government, is concentrated mostly in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. Ethnically, they are completely seperate from the Japanese, and traditional Ainu culture is quite different from traditional Japanese culture as well . Even the language they speak has no relation to the Japanese language, although nowadays it is often writen in Katakana.
In recent years, the Ainu people are making efforts to preserve and revive their unique and beautiful culture. Be sure to take the opportunity to learn more about them if you are ever in Hokkaido!
Read more from Tomoko Kamishima:
Music: 阿寒湖アイヌコタン (public)
Source: Japan Travel