*First broadcast on December 1, 2020. The Ainu people are indigenous to Japan, and the Ainu community is now concentrated in Hokkaido Prefecture, the northernmost main island. The Ainu have long maintained a distinct culture and language, but very few speakers of the language remain. In a Japanophiles interview, Peter Barakan meets Anna Bugaeva, a Russian linguist who has spent 2 decades recording and analyzing the Ainu language. She shares some of the insights she has acquired through her long association with Ainu culture.
Anna Bugaeva, a Russian linguist, studies the Ainu language
Bugaeva meets Peter Barakan at an exhibition of Ainu folk art
Bugaeva explains the purpose of the objects on display