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Religion of Ainu People

Religion of Ainu People / Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 15   September 5, 2006 (Tue) - November 26, 2006 (Sun)

 Image of "Ritual Hoe-shaped Crests, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Messrs.Oda Shokichi and Izumi Rintaro)" 
Ritual Hoe-shaped Crests, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Messrs.Oda Shokichi and Izumi Rintaro)

Ainu people believe that souls existed in every natural thing, from the vast northern plateau to the endless sea. They regarded things essential to their welfare or beyond human control as "gods" and offered prayers. They believed that without receiving protection and provisions from them, stable living was impossible, so they prayed to the gods to insure a peaceful life. Furthermore, they held rituals of prayer to express in words their gratitude to the gods for granting their wishes.

This display introduces the Ainu people's prayers featuring various ritual implements such as inau, iku-pasui, and wooden bowls, which were used on different occasions, together with their clothes and daily tools.

 Major works in this exhibition

* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Coat, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (On exhibit through October 15, 2006)
Necklace, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Kanematsu)
Tray, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Ms. Hirako Hatsu)
Ritual Hoe-shaped Crests, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Messrs.Oda Shokichi and Izumi Rintaro)
Sword Mountings, Hokkaido Ainu, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
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