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...

Prayers for Kamuy

The Indigenous Ainu of Shiranuka

Aired: February 6, 2020 (UTC)


Japan’s second largest island, Hokkaido, is home to roughly 16,000 Ainu, an indigenous people of Japan. In this program, we visit Shiranuka, a town surrounded by rich nature in eastern Hokkaido. Throughout history, the abundant catch of salmon, crab, octopus, and shishamo smelt from the Pacific Ocean has attracted many Ainu to this region. Now, the Ainu of Shiranuka live no differently from the other Japanese townspeople. At the same time, the entire town is united in their efforts to preserve Ainu traditions passed down for generations, and traditional Ainu events continue to be held year-round. The traditions that the Shiranuka Ainu Culture Preservation Society are determined to keep alive reflect the Ainu’s deep appreciation of nature and respect for others, and send an important message to all of us living in the modern world.


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.
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.
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.
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