Learn Ainu culture through digital art and video mapping at the Kamuy Lumina event

Of all the indigenous peoples of Japan, the Ainu are arguably the most recognized in the Japanese and international communities, and yet, despite this, so little is known about them.

Although once the main population of Japan, the arrival of the migrating Yayoi people around 300 BC would force the Ainu north to Tohoku, Hokkaido and the ancient Japanese islands of Karafuto. Already a dying culture, the Meiji Restoration and the forced establishment of modern society it brought would further threaten the Ainu during the 19th century; and now there are only a handful of pockets left on the island of Hokkaido that are dedicated to preserving Japan’s first civilized people.

On the shores of Hokkaido’s Lake Akan, Akanko Ainu Kotan is one of the few remaining settlements on the island dedicated to protecting, revitalizing, and continuing Ainu culture. The settlement consists of 36 residences and is home to approximately 120 people.

At Akanko Ainu Kotan, visitors can experience a variety of crafts and performances that provide insight into Ainu life. However, there is one experience in particular that we believe should not be missed – the Akanko no Mori Kamuy Lumina Night Walk.

An interactive nature-based experience that combines the surrounding environment with digital technology, immersive sound and projection mapping, the Akanko no Mori Kamuy Lumina night walk is designed to bring participants closer to the culture and beliefs of the Ainu more that they could never be before.

Held nightly from spring through fall, the Akanko no Mori Night Walk Kamuy Lumina is a fully immersive entertainment experience produced in collaboration with international multimedia studio Moment Factory.

Through the use of digital art, sound, music and map projection, the event allows visitors to participate in an Ainu saga that conveys the importance of “coexisting with nature”. The event can be enjoyed by children and adults, who once immersed in history can experience the world of Ainu and the natural beauty of Lake Akan with all five senses.

Participants are given a ‘rhythm stick’ which acts as a guide along the 1.2 km wooded boardwalk on which the event is held. This staff is made to resemble the appearance of the traditional walking sticks used by the Ainu when traveling through the mountains and forests. Complete with a GPS tracker, speaker and light, the rhythm stick is essential to the experience and provides participants with story dialogue, narration and music alongside lighting to guide the way. through the dark forest.

The story played at Akanko no Mori Night Walk Kamuy Lumina is based on the Ainu saga “The story of the god Jay who saved the people from the Great Famine”, which was passed down from generation to generation as an “ikor” Ainu traditional.

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Akanko no Mori Night Walk Kamuy Lumina will take place every night from May 14 to November 14.

* As the story is based on the importance of nature, the event will continue even if it rains. In case of rain, the use of umbrellas is not allowed, therefore it is best to dress appropriately with raincoats and non-slip rain boots.

Location: Bokke Promenade, Akan Mashu National Park

Time: Performances begin 30 minutes after sunset, which varies by season. Stay up to date with seasonal updates via the official ticketing website.

Duration of the show: About 50 minutes

Tickets

Advanced Adults (Junior High and above): 3,000 yen

Advance Children (elementary school): 1,500 yen

Adults same day: 3,500 yen

Children on the same day: 1,700 yen

*Free for preschoolers

To buy tickets here.

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