2F Museum Facilities
Six themes from the Ainu perspective
The permanent exhibition introduces the Ainu language, history and culture from the perspective of the Ainu. The Ainu are an indigenous people to Hokkaido, Sakhalin, Tohoku and the Kuril Islands, and the exhibition spans the history of humankind in the region from 30,000 years ago to the present day. Visitors can experience the Ainu language from a range of linguistic traditions based in different areas through writing on signs and panels and the audio guides available for rental. A smartphone application incorporating the audio guide is also scheduled for release.
After passing through the Observation Deck overlooking Lake Poroto, this exhibition introduces peoples from around the world, with the Ainu among them.
The plaza-style layout of the exhibition allows visitors to explore freely from the central area. A collection of exemplary works is displayed in the center of the permanent exhibition room to allow visitors to gain an immediate insight into Ainu culture and artistry. This gives visitors who want to delve deeper the freedom to head to the themed exhibitions and gain a fuller understanding of the elements of interest to them.
Learn about the Ainu language through stories, place names and current initiatives to promote its use. In addition to related displays, the exhibition features opportunities for visitors to familiarize themselves with the language with a space to hear Ainu as if sitting around a hearth, games to learn pronunciation and word order, and videos about place names and conversational Ainu.
Spirituality is a central aspect of Ainu culture. The exhibition includes graphics illustrating the Ainu belief that ramat (spirits) exist all around us. Various items relating to a rage of Ainu rituals are also on display, such as a 6m-long wooden pole used to hold bears during the iyomante ritual from Sakhalin.
Discover the Ainu way of life through tools and videos relating to dress, cuisine, lodgings, music, dance and children’s games. The exhibit contains demonstrations of various traditions that have been passed down through the generations are demonstrated, including making thread from bark stripped from Manchurian elm and an actual loom.
This area recalls the story of the Ainu through the history told by the Ainu themselves and remnants left by peoples in the surrounding area. In the exhibition, the upper section of the wall displays a chronology of major events in the history of the Ainu people together with their corresponding eras and maps.
Learn about the past and present work of the Ainu. The first half of the exhibition introduces tools and techniques used in hunting, fishing, farming and gathering and an area showing how these tasks change throughout the year. The second half covers work and crafts that have been around since the Meiji Era (1868-1912). Examples of tools and works help to illustrate the work that Ainu people engage in today.
See how the Ainu have engaged in exchanges with the peoples around them throughout history. The most striking part of the exhibition is the itaomachip (oceangoing boat) discovered at Lake Akkeshi that has been restored after being received from the Akkeshi Town collection.
Ikere usi “Tempatempa”
Tempatempa means “touch and see” in the Ainu language. In this area, visitors can experience Ainu culture through various activities. It features 18 exhibits for all ages to enjoy, including dioramas, models, tamasay (necklaces) and 3D puzzles of salmon and deer. Visitors can deepen their understanding of Ainu culture by stopping by the interactive station in between visits to the six themed areas.