Japan House London launches virtual tour of UK-First Ainu Stories exhibition

Japan House London launches virtual tour of UK-First Ainu Stories exhibition

Japan House London launches virtual tour of UK-First Ainu Stories exhibition

  • Ainu Stories: Contemporary Lives by the Saru River is the first survey in the UK of the contemporary culture of this indigenous people of Japan and is now available to see globally with a free virtual version of the exhibition.
  • Personal stories of members of the community of Nibutani, in Biratori, offer viewers the chance to experience Ainu culture from the inside through language, song, dance, society and craft.  
  • The exhibition uncovers little-known historical links between the UK and the remote region of Biratori, telling the story of 19th-century British explorers whose legacies live on in the region today.
  • The virtual exhibition allows full access to all areas of Ainu Stories, with close-up images, in-depth panel information and video content.
  • View the virtual exhibition here: Ainu Stories – Virtual Exhibition – Japan House London

LONDON, March 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Japan House London reveals the rich cultural diversity of Japan in this UK-first exploration of contemporary Ainu culture, now available to audiences globally through a free virtual exhibition.

Created using 3D photography, the virtual exhibition offers viewers to opportunity to experience Ainu Stories as if they were there in person, using portals to move around the gallery and zoom in and out of areas of interest. Clicking on the camera icons shows more than 250 items in close-up detail, while the information icons allow viewers to read the information available in the physical exhibition. All of the videos from the gallery can also be played through the virtual exhibition.

Ainu Stories: Contemporary Lives by the Saru River has been curated in collaboration with the people of Biratori, an area located in Saru River basin in the south of Hokkaido. The exhibition explores the significance of Ainu culture for this community and the relationships between its people and their surroundings, as well as revealing some interesting historical links between the UK and Biratori. It offers UK audiences the chance to experience first-hand, examples of Ainu culture as it exists today, highlighting its importance in the wider contemporary cultural fabric of Japan.

Twelve in-depth video interviews provide an intimate visual and oral backdrop to the exhibition’s four central themes, which are further brought to life with displays of contemporary Ainu works and film:

  • Ainu Language – Members of the community in Nibutani are particularly dedicated to ensuring the continued life of this largely oral language, named as critically endangered by UNESCO. Visitors to the exhibition can discover examples of the Ainu language in use.
  • Society and the Environment – This section touches on topics of environmental conservation, contemporary agricultural practices, the largely unknown world of Ainu cuisine and the consultation with members of the Ainu community on major land construction projects such as the recently completed Biratori Dam.
  • Ainu Textiles, Song and Dance –Through displays, film and hands-on workshops, visitors to the exhibition can discover the importance of song and dance in Ainu culture – not performed for the benefit of others, but taking place as part of community life. Richly embroidered robes worn for certain ceremonies tell the story of Ainu textiles and crafts.
  • Woodcarving and Tourism – Japanese domestic tourism in the 1960s and 1970s inspired the growth of the Ainu woodcarving industry in Nibutani, an area which was already famed for its delicately carved wooden trays, household utensils and hunting weapons. Today, Nibutani ita (carved trays), together with Nibutani attus (woven bark textiles), are the only officially designated ‘Traditional Crafts’ of Hokkaido. Visitors will find a range of these objects on display, including a specially commissioned piece by Kaizawa Toru whose work can also be seen in the British Museum.  

Simon Wright, Director of Programming for Japan House London, said:

“This exhibition and the accompanying visits from members of the Ainu community in Biratori is the first time such a major collaborative undertaking with an Ainu community has taken place in the UK. Many, if not all, exhibitions of Ainu culture in museums have focused on the past. Displays are often made up of old ethnographic collections. This exhibition, with a range of materials made especially for this project, aims to be different. For this venture, at Japan House London we want to show how Ainu culture in the rural district of Biratori is expressed today.”

The creation of the virtual exhibition is supported by JTI UK.

Notes to Editors

About Japan House London
Japan House London is a cultural destination offering guests the opportunity to experience the best and latest from Japan. Located on London’s Kensington High Street, the experience is an authentic encounter with Japan, engaging and surprising even the most knowledgeable guests. Presenting the very best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation, and technology, it deepens the visitor’s appreciation of all that Japan has to offer.  This year, Japan House London marks five years of bringing the best of Japan to the UK and beyond. Part of a global initiative, there are two other Japan Houses, one in Los Angeles and the other in São Paulo.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2355250/Virtual_Exhibition.jpg
Logo –  https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2340450/JAPAN_HOUSE_London_Logo.jpg

SOURCE Japan House London

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/japan-house-london-launches-virtual-tour-of-uk-first-ainu-stories-exhibition-302081312.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

author avatar
Type Editor
EntertainmentJapan House London launches virtual tour of UK-First Ainu...
follow backlinks

Latest news

reality tv gossip