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Japan to boost tourism at Ainu culture complex

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assimilationist policy

hah!

now though, we can attract the tourist ¥ by celebrating their unique cultural heritage.

next.... add them as a UNESCO blah blah blah?

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

The Japanese government will promote inbound tourism to a major cultural complex in Hokkaido dedicated to the indigenous Ainu people, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Sunday.

"Promote" meaning subsidies to hotel owners and advertising contracts for Dentsu as usual.

I wonder how much will trickle down to the actual Ainu who will be showing off their dancing and musical skills?

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Having oppressed and attempted cultural genocide until 2008 now they will use them as a degrading side show for profit?

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Interesting. I hope that Upopoy will be able to run self-sufficiently. A challenge may be its location away from major local cities, and access.

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The Japanese government only recognized the group as an "indigenous people that have their own language, religious and cultural identity" in 2008."

Only in 2008?.....Geez. That speaks volumes.

we can attract the tourist ¥ by celebrating their unique cultural heritage. next.... add them as a UNESCO blah blah blah?"

Good call...can see the UNESCO listing coming up.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Ainu Dance is already UNESCO designated as Intengible Cultural Heritage...

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Hope they get their wild fishing rights and their land back.

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How are ‘inbound’ tourists meant to view this sudden act of largesse by the Japanese government?

On their smartphones?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I visited this site because I am very interested in the Ainu culture. What I remember about that visit was a caged bear and what was the préposé. I still think about that bear each time the word Ainu come up. I recommend that if your opposed to animal cruelty this Ainu site leave you thinking what that cage bear all about. It has no bearing on the Ainu culture. The Bear is used as a circus attraction.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

John-SanToday  09:21 am JST

I visited this site because I am very interested in the Ainu culture. What I remember about that visit was a caged bear and what was the préposé. I still think about that bear each time the word Ainu come up. I recommend that if your opposed to animal cruelty this Ainu site leave you thinking what that cage bear all about. It has no bearing on the Ainu culture. The Bear is used as a circus attraction.

I have seen caged bears in different locations around Japan, it's not unique to Ainu people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Like many foreigners who come to live in Japan I was shocked after living here for several years that such an indigenous culture existed at all. Where was the promotion of its culture? No images, no music no traditional clothing anywhere? And why when I ask Japanese about Ainu people they answer with 'Who?'

I went to this site and was very moved when the guide there spoke of herself as 'Warere Ainu jin'. They have been fighting for recognition and respect for many decades. It looks like the Japanese population is starting to recognise them more.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Like everyone else, I learned a lot about Ainu and Ainu culture by reading Golden Kamuy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I also know of a "certain" ethnic group having nothing to do with the Ainu, now claiming to be pure-blooded Ainu.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The only thing the government cares about is exploiting them for the government's own gain. "See. We care!" It's just phony posturing and the average Japanese person knows nothing nor cares about the Ainu.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

The shamelessness of the Japanese government knows no boundaries.

The Ainu have been treated with nothing but contempt and ignorance for as long as anyone can remember.

Now Kishida and his cronies are trying to exploit them for progir

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

*Profit.

Hate my government

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I have visited this new museum and park twice since its opening in 2020. I agree the Japanese Government is woefully late in addressing the plight of the indigenous Ainu people although I would caution against negative comments until you actually have an opportunity for a personal visit. In my experience, the museum displays are honest about how marginally the Ainu have been treated while also celebrating the traditional and contemporary culture they still have left. I found the dance and song performance to be exceptional and the other video installations interesting and informative. There were local school groups visiting when I was there and I had the opportunity to speak with some of the junior high school students who also felt the experience was worth their time. The entrance fee is 1,200 yen and includes all of the shows and displays including hand crafted goods and workshops. The park grounds are beautiful next to a large lake where you can walk around and enjoy the fresh air. There are NO bears in cages at this facility. Frankly I'm disappointed to read so many negative comments from people who obviously have not been there or really know what they are talking about. I guess it's easy to throw shade when you never seen the light ?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ainu has been chased and destroyed, now Kishida will make money on them...

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The Japanese government will promote inbound tourism to a major cultural complex in Hokkaido dedicated to the indigenous Ainu people

I'm sure the indigenous Ainu people will love the fact the government want to use this particular area of Japan as a testing ground for what might happen when tourists from around the world are allowed back in to the country. They might as well allocate hundreds of tons of contaminated soil from Fukushima to the major cultural complexes in Hokkaido while they're at it.

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Racer: I visited there in 2015 and the bear cage and dog cages are the first display you pass before entering the village set up. It was a real turn off and just reminded my that here you have a group of native who have been oppress then in turn they are oppressing the wildlife. It seem to me that the whole display is false. I still don’t understand what the cage animals were doing there only to entertain the crowds. Who to me don’t understand the word oppression means.

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@John-San

@Racer X Japan

The answer to your conflicting memories regarding the bears is that they were there until July/August 2018, but were then rescued from their cages thanks to a British wildlife trust alerted to the situation by some UK tourists. The bears are now living happily in Yorkshire, England.

It appears the staff at the Ainu centre also felt that the bears' living conditions were unsatisfactory, but could find nowhere else in Japan willing to take the bears. Other sources say that there are still many bears living in captivity throughout Japan. In 2022, that really isn't an acceptable situation.

https://www.inspiremore.com/ussuri-bears-rescued-by-wild-welfare/

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I visited the park in 2017. That big building wasn't there, but the village was, the performances were terrific, the smaller museum was very informative. And it's a short walk from the train station. Definitely worth a day.

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@BigYen ...Thank you for the clarification. I know there are still bears used as "entertainment" in Sahoro, Hokkaido at a location called "Bear Mountain" I visited the facility last year and reported about it for the Hokkaido Tourism Board. They are seriously discussing how to close the site and move the bears to a better place. This was also an issue in the Jozankei area of Hokkaido but that facility has closed. I completely agree with @John-san that the bears in cages are not good and am personally advising the local governments how to change this situation. I do think the new UPOPOY facility is a quality step in a better direction.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It was a real turn off and just reminded my that here you have a group of native who have been oppress then in turn they are oppressing the wildlife.

The Circle of Life.

It is such an apt metaphor too for the cynical exploitation of this LDP/Japan Inc. proposal.

Beginning with the government's assimilationist policy in the Meiji Era (1868-1912), the ethnic minority suffered discrimination and land dispossession, spilling over into ongoing income and educational disparities.

The bears and dogs in cages will probably be addressed before what has happened to the indigenous peoples.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The Yamamoto clan were give the trading rights of Eso. This led to infecting the natives with Alcohol and guns and ripping off the natives blind for goods in return. Sound very familiar tactic employee by most power entities. Once Alcohol was introduced into a society which is the unfamiliar with the devil juice the all society falls apart mix with gun in fighting begins like native clan against other native clans . So the Ainu culture so shot to death way before the Meiji era but the laws impose by the Meiji was merely the last nail in coffin of Ainu culture.

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Love it!

Reported by a British tourist & rescued by a British charity.

Bears now living happily in Yorkshire!

Says it all really.

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englisc aspyrgendToday  07:51 am JST

Having oppressed and attempted cultural genocide until 2008 now they will use them as a degrading side show for profit?

Actually all the Ainu associations in Hokkaido are welcoming finally gettting the J-Gov to recognize them as aboriginal people and divert funds towards projects the highlight and preserve their culture. The Upopoi Center is admitedly a bit ridicuous in terms of size and scale, and was unlucky to have been completed just as Covid fell upon us, but no one is complaining. It will probably operate at a loss for several years with the J-gov subsidizing it.

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John-SanToday  05:51 pm JST

The Yamamoto clan were give the trading rights of Eso. 

Who is this Yamamoto clan? The right to govern and trade in Ezo was given to the Matsumae Clan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I was at the park in 2015 and there were 3-4 bears in cages. I was very happy to hear years later that those very same bears were shipped to some conservation preserve in the UK.

Rather ironic though because the Brown Bears in the UK have gone extinct. And they weren't treated any better.

"Dancing bears were a common form of entertainment. Bears were also widely used for their body parts, with bear grease still being sold in Britain in the early 20th century as a putative treatment for hair loss."

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44699233

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I grew up in Sapporo, Hokkaido. From personal experience, the Ainu's culture wasn't exposed to us in textbooks or curricular activities not until until Senior High School. I remember going to the Ainu Village to experience their way of life, we ate their ochazuke and listened to their music. That was it. I do remember him saying that there used to be streams where they always caught fish in the city itself, now it's gone because if the buildings built over it. There are some exhibitions in the underground subway of their culture starting from 2017 I remember. But no more than that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So it was the Matsumae Clan, Thanks, I apologise to any Yamamoto who was offended with my miss info, Also with my history of calling Ezo , Eso the North main island. Just a side note I read about a tribe of Ainu visited by a white man and he tell of a story of the tribes hunting dogs while out fishing a lake A spotter find a school of salmon close to the shore. They then sent out to parallel lines of dogs either side of the school one after the other. once pass the school the the line of dog met forming a semi circle enclosing the school of salmon and push the school towards the shore where the hunters were aim with spears. That is man working with dog still amaze me. Respect.

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John-SanToday  09:21 am JST

I recommend that if your opposed to animal cruelty this Ainu site leave you thinking what that cage bear all about. It has no bearing on the Ainu culture.

While I am pleased to learn those bears I saw found a new home, Bears have an enormous bearing to the Ainu culture and people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iomante

http://sapporo-tourguides.com/the-present-day-ainu-and-iomante-from-the-story-of-the-ainu-seminar/

A bear cub was captured during the winter from a den, and raised in the village. At a cerrtain point it was killed in a village ritual symbolizing sending it's spirit back to the gods. Bear worship is found among various aboriginal peoples of the Eastern North Pacific and elsewhere. This Iomante ceremony was outlawed in 1955 was that has been rescinded on the grounds that it is exempt from animal rights laws. There are "rumors" that some Imonte ceremonies have been carried out quietly since.

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Yes I know the history the Ainu. Their relationship of a Hunter gather and the bear cub things and some by annual event. Many know the actual meaning behind this but I assume it a great idea for a bbq get together. Anyway the Ainu have a genetic mark involving the Australian Aboriginals which are the oldest existing civilization in recorded history. The the Ainu would have to the second oldest going off todays theory’s back up with physical events EG Mongo Man and Woman bones. So very similar has in diet while other cultures took up farm these stuck to Hunter gatherer. Also having a unique culture of having hunting dogs but with the Aboriginals the dog was introduced late in their culture to them tame and democratic where the Ainu and dog grow from the environment they both share. Yes The Ainu culture has never got the respect or did the Aboriginal in western history it deserves.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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