Preserving Ainu Culture for the Future

Shin-Hidaka Town

Aired: Dec 29, 2023 (UTC)


Shin-Hidaka Town in the southern part of central Hokkaido is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Hidaka Mountains. Blessed with abundant nature, it is known for breeding racehorses and kelp cultivation.

On the day of the autumnal equinox in September, Shin-Hidaka Town hosts the "Shakushain Hoyo-sai" one of the most important historic rituals of the Ainu people. Shakushain is a hero revered by the Ainu who rose against the Wajin (Japanese) after they imposed unfavorable trading conditions on the Ainu in the mid-17th century.

This program follows the Ainu organizers preparing for the 77th "Shakushain Hoyo-sai", including traditional Ainu rituals, rice cake throwing, and dances from various parts of Hokkaido.
The people of Shin-Hidaka Town are working to preserve and pass on the ancient Ainu culture to future generations, including the training of priests through an advanced course. These efforts aim to protect Ainu culture and connect it to the future.


More Videos To Explore

Our Series

Trailblazers We follow Japan’s trailblazers breaking new ground in various fields and discover the purpose that keeps them moving forward.
Catch Japan Explore a colorful variety of modern Japan’s most popular topics, including food, technology, ecology and regional promotions, with a focus on the innovative ideas and passionate effort from the people behind it all.
The Heart of Fukui This series explores the allure of traditional culture thriving in Fukui, a region rich in nature facing the Sea of Japan.
SPIRIT OF JAPAN The program introduces the history and wisdom behind Japan’s technological strength and specialties, which are helping to revitalize regional areas of the country.
Explore Japan This series will feature how various culture in modern Japan and overseas blend together and influence each other.
Exploring the Lands of the Ainu In this series, we visit areas in Hokkaido with deep connections to the Ainu living there and showcase their prayers, dances, and traditional ceremonies passed down through generations.
J-Entertainment Infotainment show featuring young artists full of talent with their unique sense of “Japan.”
Check Other Series