Exploring the Lands of the Ainu
In part 4 of this 5-part series, we visit Chitose City, Hokkaido, home to about 97,000 people, the New Chitose Airport known as the gateway to the skies Hokkaido, and surrounded by majestic nature including Lake Shikotsu.
In early autumn, a traditional Ainu ritual is held to thank the Kamuy deities and pray for a bountiful catch of salmon. This “Acircepnomi” means “To offer and thank the Kamuy for new salmon” in the Ainu language.
In addition to the preparations as well as the “Acircepnomi" ceremony itself, this episode focuses on the young Ainu people living in the area today and how traditions are being passed on into the future. We learn about the history of coexistence between the Chitose Ainu and salmon since ancient times through local cultural activities, such as how the salmon risk their lives to swim up the Chitose River, the use of the Indian waterwheel, and the “Salmon Hometown Aquarium”. Explore the lands of the Chitose Ainu people and the allure of their culture of gratitude and worship of nature.