January 3, 2021

The Equal Times On Ainu Activists' Response to Upopoy

The Equal Times On Ainu Activists' Response to Upopoy

Writing for The Equal Times, journalist Carmen Grau interviews Ainu leaders Fumio Kimura, Shizue Ukaji, and Ryoko Tahara, as well as CEMiPoS director Hiroshi Maruyama and researcher Masumi Tanaka, about their criticisms of Japanese government's assimilationist approach to Upopoy, and the Ainu community's continued struggle towards the recognition of their rights as Indigenous people.

Hiroshi tells Carmen, "there is no Ainu perspective to Upopoy. It is cultural commodification. It was announced after [Tokyo won the bid to host] the Olympic Games, to attract tourism and to feign respect for minorities. Japanese nationalism espousing one race, one language and one nation is still firmly in place."

Read more at The Equal Times.


Header photo by Carmen Grau for The Equal Times