- Akan Yukar The Epic Story of the Fire God
Akan Yukar “The Epic Story of the Fire God”
Lake Akan Ainu Kotan (village) in Hokkaido has much epic poetry (yukar).
One type is oina, which are stories about gods. These have been carefully handed down through innumerable generations as song poems, with various kamuy (gods) themselves believed to be singing them.
Akan Yukar’s “The Epic Story of the Fire God” has the oina called “Apeya-tenna” as its core. This oina was performed and handed down by the fuchi (Ainu woman elder) Yae Shitaku, who lived in Lake Akan.
Apeya-tenna is about a fire god who is an elderly woman (ounagami) called “Apefuchi Kamuy”.
News of a crisis travels from an inland lake to Apefuchi Kamuy (the fire god). But Apefuchi Kamuy pushes on with making embroidered clothing and ignores the repeated cries for help. A request, however, then arrives from the god of the open sea called "Repun Kamuy (orca)", and the fire god, at long last, decides to head to the lake… Apefuchi Kamuy does this because it was said that if a god ignores a request six times, that god will fall into ruin.
This part of the story in which Apefuchi Kamuy watches and waits six times is not, however, described in the oina called “Apefuchi Kamuy”. Together with uniquely including this part, the Akan Ainu have also added part of the oina called “Funko Funko” (a story about an owl and a jaybird) and part of the oina called “Kararato” (a story about the tree god and people) to create this fresh, new Akan yukar, The Epic Story of the Fire God.
Tomoko Taira (elder Yae Shitaku’s granddaughter) is the storyteller in this performance, and she is now the bearer of this special oina that her grandmother once performed.
The Epic Story of the Fire God performance follows on the heels of Lost Kamuy (which has been performed since 2019 at Lake Akan Ainu Theater
This oina is not all performed in the Ainu language, as is traditionally the case. This new version of this yukar will have a uniquely Akan Ainu flavor, as it is performed with the rhythms of the Japanese language.
Note: “Oina” is a word that is used in eastern Hokkaido and Sakhalin Note: In the Japanese version of the Epic Story of the Fire God, “epic story” is written 詩 and is pronounced “uta”.
Akan Yukar The Epic Story of the Fire God
- Performance period
- April 29 - November 30
- Adults (Middle School and Older) \ ¥2000 Elementary School Children \ ¥700
- Time Needed:
- 30 Minutes
- How to Use
- Please print out this page on your home printer. This screen is not optimized for printing.
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2021 Performance Schedule: Ainu Ancient Ceremonial Dances, Akan Yukar “The Epic Story of the Fire God”, and Lost Kamuy
|Until March 20 2021||-||-||-||-||-||Lost Kamuy|
|3/21～4/28||-||-||-||-||Ancient Ceremonial Dance||Lost Kamuy|
|4/29～5/31||Sundays and holidays only
Ancient Ceremonial Dance
|Ancient Ceremonial Dance||Lost Kamuy||The Epic Story of the Fire God||Ancient Ceremonial Dance||Lost Kamuy|
|6/1～9/30||Ancient Ceremonial Dance||Ancient Ceremonial Dance||Lost Kamuy||The Epic Story of the Fire God||Ancient Ceremonial Dance||Lost Kamuy|
|10/1～10/31||Ancient Ceremonial Dance||Ancient Ceremonial Dance||Lost Kamuy||Ancient Ceremonial Dance||The Epic Story of the Fire God||Lost Kamuy|
|11/1～11/30||-||-||Weekends and Holidays Only
|-||The Epic Story of the Fire God||Lost Kamuy|
|12/1～3/19||-||-||Weekends and Holidays Only
|-||Ancient Ceremonial Dance||Lost Kamuy|
- Lake Akan Ainu Theater <Ikor>
- 7-84, Akankoonsen 4-chome, Akancho, Kushiro City, Hokkaido