いも版AINU帖, 1972 by Kagawa Tokio
"Ainu are indigenous people who have lived in the area which was named Hokkaido at the beginning of the Meiji era. [The] Japanese nation incorporated them forcefully and prohibited their language and culture. Because they had almost lost their language and culture, the cultural revitalization movement has had a great difficulty but at the same time great significance for their identity.
"In Ainu cosmology, people worship every [part of] nature as Kamui, which means a god. This notion is now much recognized as contributing to symbiosis of nature. It is thought of as the way of living of hunter-gatherers. Ainu people are now constructing their identity as hunter-gatherers who have coexisted with nature. The Ainu revitalization movement has been pushed forward with this identity.
"We can see that Ainu people are creating a new culture through the cultural revitalization movement. It is not a literal revival of the past but the creation of culture for the future. They are making a network with indigenous peoples in the world who share the difficult historical experiences with Ainu, and creating a new identity beyond the nation. "
Source: Shishamo Festival as the Ainu Cultural Revitalization Movement: On the Identity as a Hunter-Gatherer, Misako Kawano, Bull. Inst. Oceanic Res. & Develop., Tokai Univ. (2018), 39, 1-18
Kagawa's fascination with Ainu culture started in elementary school when he lived in Monbetsu, near the Ainu village Monbetsu kokan (紋別 コタン ). It is reported that he became strongly attracted to the Ainu designs and patterns carved into his Ainu friend's playthings.
For a short biography of the artist click on the following link: https://www.moreofmyjapanesehanga.com/home/new-artist-biographies/kagawa-tokio-potato-print-artist#h.63r2gj5cofxi
IHL Cat. #2666
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Introductory insert by Iwata Brewing Company
About Tokio Kagawa's "Potato Print AINU Book"
"In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the founding of Iwata Brewery, we would like to present Mr. Kagawa's "Potato version AINU book".
So begins the introduction to Kagawa's book consisting of reproductions of his original "potato prints"* of objects and animals of the Ainu people.The left side of each page displays Kagawa's potato print with the right side containing the romanized Ainu word for the object along with its explanations in Japanese and English.
This 1972 edition enhanced an earlier 1961 version of the book which only contained sixteen illustrations. As discussed by Kagawa in the postscript, for this edition he recarved the potato blocks and corected some of the text. The original illustrations with text were also serialized in the Iwata Brewery's small essay magazine "紅" (Beni)