Ainu Patterns: Embroidery Workshop


Ainu Shishu Workshop 1000x543

Distinctive Ainu patterns can be found on various everyday items used by the Ainu such as clothes and tools. These patterns, including techniques for their expression and regional variation in their design, have been handed down from parent to child for generations. Historically considered an important task for women in Ainu communities, one major method of expressing these patterns has been embroidery.

In this workshop, led by craftswomen Nomoto Keiko and Okada Minako, participants learn basic Ainu designs and sewing techniques and embroider two patchwork patches with Ainu patterns. One patch can be taken home; the other will be taken to Japan and stitched on to a large patchwork that is currently being created in Shiraoi, Hokkaido. The finished patchwork will be displayed in Shiraoi, aiming to serve as a symbol of multicultural coexistence.

This event is part of a season of events held in collaboration with Hokkaido Prefecture in conjunction with the opening of Upopoy, Japan’s new national museum featuring the history and culture of the Ainu, in Shiraoi, Hokkaido in May 2020. 


Upopoy Ftype color3 Hokkaido Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020 at Japan House London