Video distributed showing traditional Ainu ‘marek’ fishing, embroidery and cooking

Chair of the Shiranuka Ainu Association, Amanai Shigeki (right) explains about the ‘marek’ fishing method in the video

The town of Shiranuka in the Kushiro region of eastern Hokkaido has produced a video with Japanese and English explanations of the traditional Ainu ‘marek’ fishing method, as well as embroidery and the like, and have begun distributing it online. This is the third in a series of efforts to convey the town’s Ainu culture to people in Japan and beyond through videos, which are available on YouTube.

 The video is approximately 45 minutes long. Amanai Shigeki, chair of the Shiranuka Ainu Association, and others explain – with demonstrations – the ‘marek’ fishing method of catching salmon and other fish using a barbed spear called a marek. Isobe Etsuko, chair of the Shiranuka Ainu Culture Preservation Society, also introduces how to cook Ainu dishes such as ‘citatap,’ which is salted salmon heads and entrails. The video also includes footage of Ainu embroidery and the ancient ‘humpe rimse’ (whale dance), which is believed to have originated on the town’s Pashikuru Coast.
In February 2019, the town produced an hour-long TV program in English introducing the history and culture of the town’s Ainu, which was broadcast in 160 countries around the world. In February 2021, the town also released Japanese and English versions of a video introducing Ainu festivals in the town, which were streamed on YouTube, and has been working to promote Ainu culture around the world.

“We hoe that people in Japan and overseas will become interested in Ainu culture through the video, and that after COVID-19 has been brought under control, more people will visit Shiranuka from all over Japan and the world,” says preservation society chair Isobe.
The video can be viewed on the town’s website, ‘Ureshipa Shirarika’


Shiranuka Town