Training workshop at Obihiro, teaching Ainu culture as tourism resource

A training workshop for learning about the culture of the indigenous Ainu people and thinking of ways to utilize it as a tourism resource was held in eastern Hokkaido’s Obihiro City. Approximately ten people from Hokkaido travel agencies participated in the workshop, where they learned about Ainu culture and how the Tokachi area was developed. At night, Obihiro’s Ainu Culture Preservation Society performed traditional Ainu dancing at Midorigaoka Park amidst torch lighting.
The workshop was organized by the Ainu Culture Subcommittee of the Hokkaido Tourism Organization and the Hokkaido Branch of the Japan Travel and Tourism Association. In normal years, is usually held in two places in Hokkaido, including sites in Sapporo. However, in commemoration of the new Ainu culture restoration hub “The National Ainu Museum and Park” (Upopoy) in central Hokkaido’s Shiraoi Town, this year workshop locations were increased to four areas in Hokkaido.
The Obihiro workshop was held on October 29. At the Obihiro Centennial Museum, a curator related to participants the history regarding a massive influx of grasshoppers that caused immense damage to crops. Outside, the Preservation Society performed dances, including a dance portraying the immense swarm of grasshoppers called “Battaki Upopo”. Participants gave comments such as, “Outdoor performances emit a magical ambiance, but measures for the coldness are needed for the autumn and winter seasons.”


Midorigaoka Park