Here in Nibutani, in the area in front of the Nibutani Ainu Culture Museum, a new Nibutani Kotan has been created to serve as a hub for Ainu history and culture. This kotan features cise dwellings built using traditional construction techniques, separated by a small flowing stream. At the on-site folk craft hall, visitors can purchase authentic Ainu folk crafts. In this special edition, we begin a journey of Ainu history and culture tourism, starting at Nibutani Kotan.
The Nibutani-ita and Nibutani-attus have been officially designated as traditional craft products by Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Let’s begin our visit to Nibutani Kotan with the tale of the Nibutani-ita
Together with the Nibutani-ita (tray), the Nibutani-attus is certified as a traditional craft by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Woven from thread made from the inner bark of Manchurian elm, Japanese lime and the like, the texture of the attus is unique.
The view upon leaving the Nibutani Ainu Culture Museum makes you feel like you’re stepping into another space. Step inside a cise, and the world expands even more.
In the museum amid the land that can be said to be the origin of Ainu culture, is a world of everyday implements that are blessings from the kamuy (gods).
The town of Biratori has an abundance of foodstuffs, such as tomatoes and wagyu beef. We spoke to Mr. Yamamoto, the representative of the Local Production for Local Consumption Group in Biratori, about the appeal of Biratori’s food.
Portraits of the Artisans
Isabella Lucy Bird