Resource: The Ainu Museum

In Stage 4: Moving Between Cultures, one of the outcomes is: “A student demonstrates knowledge of key features of the culture of Japanese speaking communities”. Students learn about “the importance of tradition to a sense of cultural identity and diversity within the culture” and students learn to “identify and explain features of traditional and contemporary lifestyle, e.g. generational and regional differences, gender roles, origins and place of festivals, routines of family and school life”.

It would be possible to teach about the Ainu and their culture as a part of this outcome. Students may not be aware of the existence of Indigenous Japanese people, and even if they are, they are probably not knowledgeable about Ainu history and culture. It would certainly be interesting to compare some of the Indigenous cultures of Australia with those of Japan. The materials on the Ainu Museum website could be used to introduce students to Ainu culture. It may also be possible to contact the museum to ask for supplementary teaching materials, such as photos, music, or contacts within your local community with people of Ainu background.