History of Ainu Race and Background

The Ainu race is an indigenous race that lives in the northern part of the Japanese archipelago, particularly in Hokkaido Prefecture, with their unique language and culture.  The Ainu people are believed to have maintained the original form of Japan’s ancient culture called “Jomon Culture” that flourished between 15,000 B.C. and 3000 B.C. to some extent as opposed to other races in Japan, which were exposed to the influence of foreign cultures such as Chinese and Korean cultures.

The Ainu culture is particularly known for its beautiful patterns on their traditional clothes and the oral culture known as “Yukar”.  A number of present-day people have been inspired by the Ainu’s unique world-view and have come to recognise the Ainu culture as the important cultural asset of Japan.  The Ainu people, who suffered greatly from Japan’s modernisation policy in the past, have regained their pride and are taking a step forward to disseminate their culture to the world.

The Japanese Diet has unanimously adopted the resolution to recognise the Ainu as “Japan’s indigenous race” in 2008 and established the Office to Promote the Ainu Culture in the office of Prime Minister.  The Japanese government plans to establish the National Ainu Museum in Hokkaido by 2020, when Japan hosts the Tokyo Olympic Games. 


The Ainu Traditional Dance Performance

The Ainu traditional dance is one of Japan’s significant intangible folk cultural assets.  It is also registered as the World Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO in 2009. 

The Ainu people use only a handful number of instruments such as Jew’s harp and harps that resemble Japanese harp, which itself signify the Ainu culture is extremely old.  Their traditional clothes for dancing have unique patterns and their movements are derived from the movements of birds and other animals.    

The Ainu people consider themselves as part of the nature.  They regard things that exist in the world such as animals, plants, water, and even diseases as Kamui, or the gods, and Kamui and humans live together by supporting each other.  Therefore, when the Ainu people dance, they express their feelings of joy and sorrow to share them with the gods.   

The Ainu dance team will perform three times in India with 18 members, the largest ever number.  And each event will be joined by Indian artists as special guest.   



1:Ainu Performance

2:Enka singer Chadha

3:Seraikela Chhau


Date    : 2nd December, 2013

Time   : 19:00 ~ 20:30

Venue : ICCR Auditorium, Azad Bhawan, ITO, Delhi

Entry by Invitation Only. Enquiries : Shashadhar Acharya : 9810038391, 9810605798 / S. S. Chadha : 9311213872