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Ainu Museum Poroto Kotan: Ainu Museum(アイヌ民族博物館 しらおいポロトコタン)

アイヌ民族博物館 しらおいポロトコタン


Closed for renovation from March 2018, to reopen in 2020 as 国立アイヌ民族博物館。

General Information

Ainu Museum Poroto Kotan
2-3-4 Shiraoi-cho, Shiraoi-gun, Hokkaido 059-0902

About Ainu Museum Poroto Kotan:

The Ainu Museum dates back to 1965 when the Ainu settlement in the Shiraoi district was moved to the the shore of Lake Poroto.  This outdoor museum was opened in 1976 and called "Poroto Kotan," meaning a village on a large lake. The museum consists of five Chise (thatched houses), Pu (storerooms), Chip (canoes), Heper set (bear cages), and a botanical garden. 

Inside the houses, the customs of the Ainu tribes are explained. The Ainu Museum was established in 1984 in order to pass on, preserve and research Ainu culture.

There are also demonstrations of various tribal dances, ceremonies, woodworking, and other crafts such as straw mat making and weaving techniques.

Related Link(s)

Summary of Collection(s)

Collection Size: 5,000 Ainu folk materials: various utensils, salmon skin boots, fish hooks, jewelries, etc., 250 materials from other northern minority groups such as the Nivkh, Uilta, Sami and Inuit

  • The Statue of the Chief: 16 meters high, is the symbol of the museum
  • The Ainu Museum: Currently, 800 items are permanently displayed.
  • Library: 150 Ainu paintings and 7,500 related books
  • Dance demonstration: The Ainu dance has been classified by UNESCO as a registered intangible cultural asset.
  • Iyomante rimse: The most eminent ceremonial dance performed for sending the bear's spirit to heaven. In the Ainu culture, the Bear is considered the highest god.
  • Mukkuri (mouth harp): The Museum provides hands on experience on making and playing the Mukkuri.

Note: The Guide uses the ALA/LC standard romanization, however, it also reflects a different romanization system used by an individual institution or collection.

Online Resource(s)

How to Use the Facility

Visiting the Museum

Please refer to "Admission".

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