September 9, 2011

September 11, 2011: 30th Asir Cep Nomi Ceremony in Sapporo

Asir Cep Nomi, the traditional Ainu welcoming ceremony for new salmon is held in various locations throughout Hokkaido in September. The ceremony is also held in Sapporo at the Toyohira River. Details for this year's event are below.


30th Asir Cep Nomi

The traditional Ainu ceremony Asir Cep Nomi will also be held this year.
Through this ceremony, we hope you will think about living in harmony with nature, sharing its joy, and imagine how this might connect to the future. Please join us.

Date: September 11 (Sunday)

09:00 - Ceremony preparation
11:00 - Ceremony and Traditional dancing
14:00 - Exchange concert

Place: Toyohira River riverside, Ohashi Bridge upriver
Minami 7-jo, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Organized by: Sapporo Ainu Culture Association, Asir Cep Nomi Executive Committee


September 6, 2011

September 9-11, 2011: Ainu Culture Basic Knowledge Seminars in Obihiro

Accepting Applications for Evening Seminars
"Ainu Culture Basic Knowledge Seminars"
-Let's Learn About Ainu Culture-
The Obihiro 100-year Museum houses "Riwka," facilities for the purposes of learning Ainu culture. This time three days of evening seminars will be held as an introduction to Ainu culture and language.

Date/Time: September 9 (Fri) to 11 (Sun), 19:00-20:30
Venue:  Obihiro 100-year Museum, Riwka (1F)
Instructor: Yuuichi Uchida (Obihiro 100-year Museum Curator)

Capacity: First 20 people
Please Bring: Writing utensils

Participation is free.

Please contact the Obihiro 100-year Museum to apply.
TEL: 0155-24-5352


Varied Reactions to Emperor's Scheduled Visit to Hokkaido

A news item from last month indicates that the current emperor and empress of Japan will be travelling to Hokkaido on September 9th for several days, and among their itinerary is a visit to the Ainu Museum in Shiraoi on September 11th.

(For details see the article from Muroran Minpo News here - in Japanese only.)

According to the article, the Representative Director of the Museum Katsunobu Nomoto stated that "It is a great honor. We are grateful that they expressed an interest in Ainu culture. All of us employees will do our sincere best for them to view the traditional dances that have been passed down to the present and also the displays in the museum."

Given the history of the emperor as the symbol of Japanese imperialism and the subjugation of the Ainu people under such auspices, there are some who are protesting the visit, organizing a discussion demanding the emperor and empress not to come and voicing the opposition against the emperor system.

(For details regarding the protest discussion meeting to be held on September 9 in Sapporo, see here - in Japanese only).

Some right-wing politicians and activists on the other hand, are expressing concern that the visit will be "politicized" by representatives of the Ainu Association, who they believe are seeking to "destroy the country" by demanding indigenous rights.

September 6, 2011: Lecture on Bronisław Piłsudski at Hokkaido University Center for Ainu & Indigenous Studies

The Hokkaido University Center for Ainu & Indigenous Studies is hosting a lecture TONIGHT, Tuesday September 6, by Prof. Alfred F. Majewicz of Adam Mickiewicz University on the Polish anthropologist Bronisław Piłsudski, who did extensive research on the Ainu. The lecture will be in English (with Japanese interpretation).


Latest Status on Organizing Bronisław Piłsudski's Posthumous Works
-Indigenous People - Ainu - Bronisław Piłsudski-

Lecturer: Professor Alfred F. Majewicz, Adam Mickiewicz University 

Bronisław Piłsudski, who conducted research in Sakhalin approximately 100 years ago with a camera and phonograph. The audio recordings he left of Sakhalin Ainu are very important, but so are his written records of Ainu, Nivkh, and Uilta languages. Professor Majewicz has been working on editing and publishing Piłsudski's written records (The Collected Works Bronisław Piłsudski), and three volumes have been published so far. This lecture will focus on volume four, which is expected to be released this December.

Date/Time: September 6 (Tue), 18:00-20:00 (Open 17:30)

Venue: W Building, Room 202
Hokkaido University Humanities/Social Studies Educational Research Building
Hokkaido University Campus, Sapporo

Traslation Available (English to Japanese)
Admission Free
No Reservations Necessary
*Parking is not available. Please use public transportation.

Tel/Fax: 011-706-2859


September 2, 2011

September 5-17, 2011: "To the Sky" Mieko Cikap Exhibit at Gallery MOZART in Tokyo

There will be an exhibit of the works of Mieko Cikap, a famous Ainu artist and activist that passed away last year. The exhibit will be at Gallery MOZART, which has been very active in supporting a wide range of Ainu artists. The gallery is very close to the Tokyo Ainu Culture Center, and so it would be ideal to stop by both if you get the opportunity to do so.


The Spirit of Ainu Embroidery
"To the Sky"
Mieko Cikap Works Exhibit
Date: September 5 (Mon) - 17 (Sat)
Time: 11:00 - 19:00 (17:00 on final day)
Venue: Gallery MOZART
YK Bldg 1F, 1-6-14 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

We will be displaying the works of Ms. Cikap, who passed away last year from leukemia at the age of 61. Embroidery of Ainu designs, each and every movement of the needle filled with songs of prayers, songs of love to one's beloved. Together with the warmth of their hands, the handicraft passed on from mother to daughter. Please come view the works, magnanimous and colorful, much like a cikap (bird) soaring freely in the great sky.

Poem Reading from 19:00 on September 5
"The World of Mieko Cikap" with Naoko Aso (poet) and others


September 1, 2011

September 4, 2011: 38th Annual Chomato Memorial Ceremony in Obihiro, Hokkaido

A memorial ceremony will be held at Chomato, a pond sacred to the Ainu located in Obihiro. According to the Japanese wikipedia page for Chomato, the story behind the pond is that around 1800, the Kitami (or Hidaka) Ainu attacked the Tokachi Ainu for their treasures and women. The Tokachi Ainu were facing defeat but were able to push back against their attackers after praying to the kamuy. The Kitami Ainu retreated to the pond, and faced with nowhere else to run, they dove into the water to escape, turning the pond red with blood. 

Chomato Pond. Photo from Wikipedia

In 2004 the pond was filled in for the purpose of constructing the city road, making the pond also a symbolic place for historical sites sacred to the Ainu that have been sacrificed for the sake of development.

Before and after of filling the lake in. From Wikipedia.


38th Annual Chomato Memorial Ceremony

The Chomato Memorial Ceremony will be held at Chomato Park in Obihiro.

Date: September 4 (Sun)
11:00 - Silent Prayer, Greetings from Organizer
11:30 - Kamynomi Prayer Ceremony
12:30 - Break
13:00 - Lecture (Instructor: Jiro Sasamura)
13:30 – Traditional Ainu Dancing by the Obihiro Kamuyto Upopo Preservation Society

Location: Chomato Park
Kita 1-chome, Nishi 16-jo, Obihiro, Hokkaido

Organized by: Hokkaido Ainu Association, Obihiro Branch