Ainu Stories Exhibition at Japan House London
An enjoyable visit to Japan House today. It’s always a pleasure to wander around the shop and discover new and unusual objects and materials, admirable for their craftsmanship.
A bonus is that until April 2024, there is an exhibition, Ainu Stories, featuring the present-day culture and crafts of the Ainu people from Hokkaido, historically persecuted, now enjoying a revival of interest and calls for the protection of their language and lifestyle.
The exhibition combines videos and artefacts, including kimonos, woodcarvings and wooden sculptures. I was drawn to a collection of exhibits of sticks thinly shaved to form curled patterns, like locks of hair, still attached to the source wood.
The exhibition is compact and takes, at most, an hour to fully enjoy. Combined with the shop, this is a worthwhile stop when visiting London. One day, I will have to try their restaurant.
P.S. I find the illustration on the wall at the entrance to the toilets amusing.