Eastern Routes: Authentic Voices
The Ainu present a major enigma to anthropologists. An indigenous people they mostly inhabit Hokkaido, the Northern Island of Japan, but for five hundred years endured persecution. By the 1900s there was every likelihood that they would die out. Surprisingly the benevolent intervention of a Scottish doctor influenced that outcome. Neil Gordon Munro lived with the Ainu, administered medicine and treated their illnesses virtually free, encouraging the Ainu to have pride in their language. This is an evening to experience Ainu storytelling and its traditional rhythmic accompaniment (with translation), and learn about the Ainu’s historical and cultural connections with Scotland. With Tomatsu Nabesawa, the world's foremost Ainu storyteller, Shiro Kayano, head of the Ainu of Hokkaido, and Highland tradition bearer George MacPherson.