Ainu Culture Promotion Center Opens in Hokkaido

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Shiraoi, Hokkaido, July 12 (Jiji Press)--“Upopoy,” a new national center featuring the culture of the Ainu indigenous people, opened in the town of Shiraoi in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido on Sunday.

The opening had been postponed for about two and a half months due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

The day’s visitors to Upopoy, taken from an Ainu term meaning “singing in a large group,” were limited mainly to about 1,500 people who had made reservations. The center asked them to undergo body temperature checks before entry as part of its efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In an opening event held at a square of Upopoy, Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki and actor Takashi Ukaji, who has Ainu roots and serves as a public relations ambassador for the center, took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

A couple in their 30s from the city of Hakodate in Hokkaido said they were looking forward to visiting Upopoy as they have long been interested in the Ainu culture.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press