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The Ainu are the native inhabitants of Hokkaido and there are a few museums in Hokkaido showing some of their lifestyle and goods. The Shiraoi Ainu Museum, also called Porotokotan, exhibits the Ainu culture and lifestyle in an outdoor reproduction of a small Ainu village and also various tools and other goods inside a museum. There are performances of traditional Ainu dances held at various times throughout the day. The exhibits include five thatched houses, a museum, a botanical garden and an animal barn. The museum is popularly known as Porotokotan, which means a large lakeside village.
Written May 25, 2008
This is the Ainu village which has a good Ainu museum - showing the lifestyle and history of the Ainus (Hokkaido's indigenous natives) and Ainu buildings (which are mostly farmhouses).
You can also experience a performance of the Ainu dances and music. I was entranced by a instrument performance, where the lady used an instrument that resembled a small catapult and produced twanging noises through her lips. The effect was as though some old Ainu man was chanting mysterious rites in the wild (very chilling).
Written Jul 15, 2004