Expressing the Ainu Spirit
Japan's indigenous Ainu people, many of whom live on the northern island of Hokkaido Prefecture, have passed down crafts inspired by nature. Now, a new generation is finding fresh ways to express the Ainu spirit. It's thanks to a collaborative effort linking a trendsetting Japanese retailer with young artisans in Lake Akan. The artisans, who specialize in weaving and jewelry making, are trying to preserve tradition while giving age-old techniques new luster. Creating products with just the right balance puts their skills to the test.