For the revival of Ainu culture – Upopoy opens

The National Ainu Museum and Park (Upopoy) serves as a base for the revival of the culture of the Ainu, an indigenous people of Hokkaido. It opened on July 12 in Shiraoi Town, central Hokkaido. Upopoy means “singing (in a large group)” in the Ainu language. The area consists of the “National Ainu Museum,” the first national museum in northern Japan with a collection of approximately 10,000 ritual objects and artifacts, the National Ainu Park featuring the Cultural Exchange Hall where traditional Ainu dancing is performed and the recreation of a traditional kotan (Ainu village). It also features a Memorial Site for Ainu remains previously kept in universities and other locations.

The site is approximately 10 hectares in area. The opening of Upopoy was delayed for about two and a half months from the originally scheduled opening in late April. The number of visitors is limited for the time being by employing a pre-booking system as an infection control practice.
Ainu-related guests cut the tape at the opening ceremony held on July 12. Tadashi Kato, former president of the Ainu Association of Hokkaido, said in his address, “We hope visitors will experience the coexistence with nature and the history that the Ainu have valued.”


The National Ainu Museum and Park (Upopoy)