Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ainu Pride and Ainu Rebels

Several Japan-related listservs have been announcing and advertising these contemporary Ainu performance/activist websites. Lots if interesting and valuable information can be found there - check them out. Below is a video of the AINU REBELS posted on YouTube. I showed this clip in my Japan and Globalization class when we were studying Japanese rap music. Many students found the glocalized J-Rap to be problematic - a fake, almost forced genre without the politics that forged original. One student noted that the Ainu Rebels incorporation of rap in their performance made much more sense than J-Rap in that the former perform as political activists.

Ainu Pride website and blog written by Mina.

This is her own self description quoted from her website:

"Father is Ainu, from Chirot Kotan in Makubetsu Village. Mother is Japanese, from Tokyo. Learned traditional Ainu dancing from a young age, she has been active in spreading awareness on the Ainu people and culture through traditional dancing as well as sharing her life story throughout Japan.

In summer of 2006, she founded the 'AINU REBELS,' a group of young Ainu living in the Tokyo area, and currently serves as the group's leader. Mina is also a Cultural Advisor registered with The Foundation for Research and Promotion of Ainu Culture."

Ainu Rebels web site.

This is their own self description quoted from their website:

"AINU REBELS is a group of young Ainu in the Tokyo area, formed in Summer of 2006. While learning traditional dancing and singing, we also work on producing new ways of expressing our identities and culture. We are doing our best to 'have fun' and 'be cool' while spreading Ainu culture throughout the world!!

We chose the name 'REBELS' with the hope of creating change - to transform our society into one where Ainu people can be proud to be Ainu."

Both websites can be accessed from the link below. I think it is important and fortunate that we can access contemporary Ainu information from contemporary Ainu people themselves.

Link to Ainu Pride and Ainu Rebels

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