Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Photo Album featuring Ainu Living in Tokyo

Photo and story borrowed from Kyodo News, Oct. 6, 2009.

Photo album of Ainu people living in Tokyo published

A record of the daily lives of Ainu people living in the Tokyo metropolitan area has been published as a photo collection.

Around 160 photos in "Ainu, at times Japanese" depict Ainu people who are involved in traditional religious exercises, dancing and singing, and marriage ceremonies despite being far from their hometowns, mainly in Hokkaido.

"I have repeatedly visited Hokkaido to photograph Ainu people as I considered it their living base," said Makiko Ui, a Tokyo-based freelance photographer who shot the pictures between 1992 and 2008. "But I was surprised to know it is estimated that at least 5,000 Ainu people live in and around Tokyo."


The new photos also include a shot of a Tokyo rally in May last year, at which Ainu people demanded the government give them indigenous status. In response, the government eventually recognized in June last year that the Ainu are an "indigenous people that have their own language and religious and cultural identity."

Read the whole story:

1 comment:

Joe said...

Awesome!! I love reading about the Ainu in the news. Indigenous cultures of Japan are rapidly becoming my new "thing." Haha.