Author Topic: Ainu Panel? Thoughts?  (Read 1640 times)

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Offline FilkAeris

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Ainu Panel? Thoughts?
« on: April 24, 2012, 04:54:06 pm »
I know most panels are anime-related, but cultural panels can be pretty cool, too, right?  I'm thinking of submitting an application to give a panel about the history, language and culture of the Ainu people in northern Japan.

Most people (including the Japanese) think of Japan as a very racially and culturally homogenous country, but there are actually a number of minority groups living in the archipelago, and one of the most fascinating is the Ainu, a native people who were driven north into Hokkaido hundreds of years ago.  They're sort of the "Native Americans" of Japan, and have faced a lot of the same struggles and oppressions as the American first peoples, before experiencing a cultural reflowering in the last few years.  When I lived in Hokkaido, I dug up as much information as I could about the Ainu, and spent a fascinating weekend at the Ainu museum in Shikaoi.

I'm still far from an expert, but still - would anybody be interested in learning about the Ainu?  I'm thinking of a short, snappy, fun panel with lots of photos and videos, and maybe a live demonstration of my mukkuri, a kind of traditional Ainu bamboo mouth harp.  Thoughts?

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Offline Runa

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Re: Ainu Panel? Thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 01:07:10 pm »
We visited Japan and saw an Ainu village while there. I've got a couple of books on Ainu - mostly showing the cool patterns they did with embroidery / applique and their costumes. I even have photos of the Ainu village (it's more like an outdoor museum, like Ft Vancouver or Plymouth Rock, with people dressed in traditional garb and performing traditional crafts / activities of the place.) that we visited. :)  So if it's approved, let me know and I can bring my Ainu stuff.

Offline FilkAeris

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Re: Ainu Panel? Thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 10:51:40 am »
Oh, awesome!   ;D  That sounds like the same village-museum I visited.  Southern Hokkaido, right?  With dance performances and a bear enclosure?  (Or is there more than one outdoor village museum, I wonder?  That would be even cooler.)

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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Ainu Panel? Thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 04:44:15 pm »
I would love this. Of note, when Creation Station had Dr. Antonia Levi as a panelist, up at Sakuracon and Anime Evolution, she gave presentations based on an article that I beta'd for her, that was published in 2007 in Mechademia: Emerging Worlds of Anime and Manga, Vol. 1, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. It's called "The Werewolf in the Crested Kimono: The Wolf-Human Dynamic in Anime and Manga," and Ainu culture, folklore, and mythology are prominently featured in it. Thus, it may be a valuable resource for you.

You might also consider viewing the new anime series I've found delightful, "Japanese Folk Tales," to see if any it portrays are Ainu in derivation.
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).