Ainu Art Project

About the “Ainu Art Project”

The Ainu Art Project was founded in 2000 by a group of young Ainu descendents who got together to rebuild the Ainu Ship “Itaomacip” for the first time in 200 years. Later, their families and other members also joined this Ainu creative team, currently consisting of 23 members. The goal of the Ainu Art project goes beyond maintaining their traditional culture, but also aims to explore spontaneous, modern expressions of Ainu culture. The group performs internationally, participating in the Canoe Festival overseas, and contributes their own interpretation of the Ainu World through traditional dances and contemporary original performances.


Koji Yuki:
Year of birth-1964.  Place of birth-Kushiro, Hokkaido

  • Leader and vocalist of the Ainu Art Project, woodprint artist
  • Formative creator using Ainu Mythology
  • Ainu mythology storyteller using Ainu Language
  • Performed in “Ainu Mythology Dramatic Reading” with an Ainu traditional  harp called the “Tonkori” in Dec. 2011 at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Yoshimichi Hayasaka
Year of birth-1965.  Place of birth-Asahikawa, Hokkaido

  • Guitarist, “Tonkori” player and craftsman, woodcarving artist, nature guide
  • Traditional dance memory keeper
  • Played “Tonkori” for Mr. Koji Yuki in Dec. 2011 at the Louvre Museum

Shoji Fukumoto
Year of birth-1970.  Place of birth-Sapporo, Hokkaido

  • “Tonkori” player, woodcarving artist, percussioner
  • Produced three CDs of his own “Tonkori” pieces, “Tonkori” instructor


Yuka Hayasaka
Year of birth-1969.  Place of birth-Asahikawa, Hokkaido

  • Traditional embroidery artist, traditional dancer, vocalist
  • “Mukkur (Ainu bamboo Jew’s harp) player


Katsunari Shintani
Year of birth-1968.  Place of birth-Sapporo, Hokkaido

  • Woodcarving artist
  • Demonstrator of Ainu traditional recipes
  • Guitarist