About The Museum


The National Ainu Museum seeks to promote respect for the Ainu as an indigenous people in Japan, to establish proper recognition and understanding of Ainu history and culture both nationally and internationally, and to contribute to the creation and development of new Ainu culture.

Museum network

Bringing together practitioners and protectors of Ainu culture, museums and universities in Hokkaido and beyond, and research institutions, the National Ainu Museum promotes the creation of a system of cooperation and collaboration with the aims of information sharing and dissemination, data collection, and joint research. The museum also works in collaboration with museums all over Japan to assist in the recovery and restoration of cultural properties affected by natural disasters.

Ainu language within the museum

Ainu is used as the first language for explanatory panels and signage throughout the museum.

☆Ainu language notation

The Ainu language can be written using both katakana and the Latin alphabet and no single definitive orthography system currently exists. For this reason and to ensure consistency, all displays within the museum have been transcribed in katakana based on Akor Itak, an Ainu language textbook edited and published by the Ainu Association of Hokkaido (formerly the Hokkaido Utari Association).

☆Ainu language explanations and linguistic variations

The museum displays have been written by people from a range of linguistic traditions based in different areas. In order to preserve linguistic diversity within the Ainu language, these displays reflect the style and notation of their respective authors.