Managing the cultural promotion of indigenous people in a community-based Museum: the Ainu Culture Cluster Project at the Nibutani Ainu Culture Museum, Japan

Naohiro Nakamura


In the District of Nibutani, Town of Biratori, Hokkaido, Japan, the inheritance of Ainu culture has been in a critical condition recently, despite the long-term struggle of a famous Ainu, Kayano Shigeru. From 2002 to 2005, the town developed the Ainu Culture Cluster Project under the auspices of the Nibutani Ainu Culture Museum. The Project’s goals were hiring local unemployed people to acquire traditional skills and encouraging local residents to inherit Ainu culture. This project is interesting because it demonstrates not only the ways and processes to develop, represent, promote, and inherit Ainu culture, but also the relation between the museum and the community and local residents. This paper discusses both the positive and negative aspects of the Ainu Culture Cluster Project, and explores the roles of a community-based museum for indigenous cultural promotion in contemporary society.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Naohiro Nakamura

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360

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