The event series celebrates the opening of Upopoy, Japan’s first national museum featuring the history and culture of the Ainu. Upopoy opens in Shiraoi, Hokkaido in May 2020, amid increased governmental measures to support the Ainu people and their efforts to preserve and develop their culture and hand it down to future generations.
‘Upopoy’ is an Ainu term meaning ‘singing together’. This event series explores the important role that music plays in Ainu culture.
Japan House hosts concerts by contemporary Ainu musicians including the tonkori player Oki, female quartet Marewrew and singer Toyokawa Yoko, as well as hands-on workshops during which guests can learn how to play the mukkur, an Ainu musical instrument similar to a mouth harp. Other events include talks and workshops on Ainu decorative needlework traditions and patterns, and the story of the new Upopoy museum itself.