Obihiro Centennial City Museum


Ainu Culture in Tokachi

kotan [Settlements]

The Ainu are an indigenous people who live in Hokkaido and surrounding areas, and cultivated their own unique culture. They established many kotan (villages) along the coast and rivers, traded, hunted and fished, and gathered plants. However, as the mainland Japanese started to settle in Hokkaido and integrate the Ainu into Japanese society, it became difficult for Ainu people to continue their traditional way of living. Currently, initiatives to pass down Ainu traditions and pride, and to express the Ainu culture, are held in various places.