Our site uses cookies and other technologies to give you the best possible experience. By using this site you are consenting to their use and accept our policies. Learn more...

Exploring the Indigenous Ainu Culture

Ainu Artifacts Around the World

Aired: September 3, 2021 (UTC)


Museums in Europe and the US contain over 10,000 Ainu cultural items from between the 18th and 20th century, including folk crafts and tools used in daily life, photos of religious ceremonies crucial to research into Ainu culture and wax cylinder recordings of their unique language. How were museums in over 15 countries able to gather and exhibit this much material on the Ainu?

This was due to Philp Franz Seibold, a major figure in sharing Ainu culture with the world who came to Nagasaki as a doctor, as well as his son Heinrich Von Siebold, who carried on his father’s legacy of researching Japanese culture during the late 18th to early 19th centuries and wrote the “Ezo Diaries”, and finally the elder brother of Poland’s first Chief Marshal, Bronisław Piłsudski, who lived with the Sakhalin and Hokkaido Ainu. We’ll follow their paths back to museum exhibits in Russia and Germany, as well as take a look at new ways that The Smithsonian Museum and British Museum are carrying on the legacy of the past by sharing Ainu culture in the present.


More Videos To Explore

Our Series

Catch Japan Explore a colorful variety of modern Japan’s most popular topics, including food, technology, ecology and regional promotions, with a focus on the innovative ideas and passionate effort from the people behind it all.
Explore Japan This series will feature how various culture in modern Japan and overseas blend together and influence each other.
Exploring the Indigenous Ainu Culture This series will highlight Ainu dance, modern art, crafts, and culture that has made its way overseas, as well as explore the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park that opened in 2020.
SPIRIT OF JAPAN The program introduces the history and wisdom behind Japan’s technological strength and specialties, which are helping to revitalize regional areas of the country.
Spirit of Resilience This series features stories of people who are standing strong amidst difficulties and continuing to explore new paths.
At One with Nature – National Parks of Japan In this series, we’ll visit national parks in Japan to meet the people that call them home, enjoy seasonal views that have inspired artists and writers for centuries, and explore their landmarks.
ASEAN Now and the Future II – Discover New Buena Vista This series involved a new set of partners. It was produced by TV broadcasters in Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, with advice from visiting program production experts from NHK International in Japan.
Check Other Series