Journeys in Japan
- Program Info
Tue. 0:30 - 1:00 (UTC) etc.
English-speaking reporters travel around Japan, meeting the people, exploring the local culture, and offering travel hints rarely found in normal guidebooks.
Topics of the Week:
Jun. 18, Tue. 0:30 - 1:00 (UTC) etc.
The Rhythms of Ainu Life
Meeting with Wood Carver, Takeki Fujito
Mountain Vegetable Picking
The indigenous Ainu lives in Hokkaido, Japan's most northern main island. Our reporter, Shakuhachi player John Kaizan Neptune, visits the shores of Lake Akan to experience Ainu culture, including its music. He meets a master wood carver of forest animals and learns from him about Ainu life in olden times. He also discovers the musical instrument called the Mukkuri. From its evocative sounds he gets a sense of the Ainu's worship of nature.
Lake Akan Boat Cruising
Cruising is a great way to take in the natural beauty of Lake Akan. The stop at the Marimo Observation Center is also popular.
Woodcraftsman Takeki Fujito
You can see Fujito's work at the Tsuruga Wings Hotel on the shores of Lake Akan.
www.tsuruga.com/ (in Japanese only)
Ainu Kotan Village
Some 30 shops sell woodwork and other handmade crafts. There is also a theater for traditional Ainu music and dance performances. Visitors can also join a Mukkuri making workshop.
www.akanainu.jp/ (in Japanese only)
Ainu Restaurant "Poronno"
Poronno serves traditional cuisine featuring deer, salmon, and mountain vegetables.
For more information on Akan tourism, visit:
Access:To reach the Akan area, it takes about 1.5 hours by plane from Tokyo's Haneda Airport to Kushiro Airport. From there it is about an hour by bus.
John Kaizan Neptune, Musician (USA)
My university major was ethnomusicology, and it was there that I first heard the shakuhachi, the traditional Japanese bamboo flute which became my life work.
During my studies I was able to learn about many different musics and cultures from around the world. So it was then that I first heard a recording of the interesting Ainu instrument "Mukkuri", a bamboo mouth harp, as well as hear some singing. After living in Japan for more than 35 years, this was my first opportunity to hear the Mukkuri performed live!
I was so impressed and inspired especially with the Mukkuri performance and with the beautiful surroundings and the powerful connection of the Ainu people with the natural environment.
What a fantastic experience for me to finally see, hear and taste some of the unique Ainu culture!
John Kaizan Neptune
|NHK WORLD TV||Tue.||
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