Meet the origin of Hokkaido

Last night was the night you did not want to sleep.

One of our hotels, "Daiichi Takimotokan" (http://www.takimotokan.co.jp/) has its 151 years anniversary and held the Ainu's traditional performing arts at the foyer. The hotel has many programs to entertain the customers for 151 days from 1 June.

Here's me with Yamamaru-san, who is a symbolic figure of the local Ainu people. With the extremely strong feature and a gorgerous traditional outfit, he is very charismatic.

At 9pm, the hotel foyer was crowded with many audience who wore "Yukata" (After-bath cotton kimino) and the group of performers greeted with their own language and musical intruments.
Ainu is the indigenous people in Hokkaido and has a sad history similar to Australia aborigines, and try their best to pass their tradition down to the next generation.

They demostrated some different kind of dance and songs. Their musical instruments are made with bamboo and strings and the function is just so simple. However, it is very difficult to make a sound but once professionals can make any sort of sounds and tones. I know that because I have started practicing myself and can tell it'd be a long way!

The highlight of the night was at the very last when audience were invited to dance with them.
There is no rule to get funky!

You can meet them at "Shiraoi Porotokotan" (Ainu Museum): http://www.ainu-museum.or.jp/

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