Carved knife by Japanese artist Kaizawa Toru
 
The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures will be holding a Friends Event on Monday, 23 February 2015 from 6:00-7:30pm. The Event will be held at the Sainsbury Institute in Norwich, England and is entitled Ainu Art and Archaeology. Two talks will be given; one by Professor Kato Hirofumi (Professor of Archaeology, Hokkaido University Centre for Ainu and Indigenous Studies) entitled Tracing the Emergence of Ainu Ethnicities using Archaeological Data. The other talk is by the artist Kaizawa Toru and is entitled Conflict and Amalgamation between “Tradition” and “Ainu”.
 
The Sainsbury Institute invites you to join them –
 
…for an evening in the company of two distinguished guests who will introduce us to two fascinating aspects of the distinctive culture of Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido. The historical trajectory of Hokkaido is very different to the other main islands in the archipelago, and indeed it was only in the 19th century that Ezo, as it was formerly known, was fully assimilated into modern Japan. Before that it was the preserve of the Ainu, now formally recognised as an Indigenous People of Japan, after decades of discrimination. The Ainu cultural tradition (Ainu means ‘The People’ in the Ainu language, which is quite different to modern Japanese) goes back to at least the 13th century AD. Ainu people controlled territories from central Honshu to Russia, and played a key role in trade in the Medieval and Early Modern periods. These talks will demonstrate how, as opposed to accounts which consider the Ainu to be endangered survivors from the ancient past, they are the bearers of a vital cultural tradition with great contemporary resonance.
 
 
A 1902 photograph showing a group of Ainu people
Source Wikimedia Commons
 
Further information and booking here.