June 26, 1999

Besides my injury, I saw their live show last night and it was very cool. The name of the group is "MOSHIRI". The songs and dancing is composed by Atuy, who is the president of Moshiri and the company, based on Ainu traditional folk songs and dancing. Most of the members are Ainu or Ainu-Japanese (Ainu is an indigenous minority in Japan. The population is 60,000 or more. About half of them live in Hokkaido). Their performance is much sophisticated as music though their strong message is included in it. To my surprise, they have already released 12 CDs so far by themselves. They are not very famous in Japan, but it is certain they would become a major artist only if they advertised efficiently. I told about it to Atuy, but he said "Our music is not a means of making money but for the conversation to Gods". I respect what he said, and on the other hand it is most important to let many Japanese and other foreign people know what Moshiri want to tell. He said Moshiri appeals two important things. One is the symbiosis to nature(= to live in harmony with nature). The other is to understand deferent people and cultures. I can say nowadays the messages are the most important things for Japan and other industrialized nations, not only for Ainu people. Definitely Moshiri's performance would influence people.

June 27, 1999

As I can't ride on the motorbike, I went to Lake Akan by hitchhiking. Japan is a very easy country to hitchhike, especially in Hokkaido, Actually, I did it two times easily today. I came to a rider's house (500 Yen /dayR) in Akan, The custodian is an Ainu gentleman. He also appears on the Ainu Traditional Dancing Show (1,000 Yen /30 min) performed in Akan Kotan (but it is not Moshiri). Kotan in Lake Akan is a quite busy community with lots of folkcraft shops and hotels. I went to the dancing show, took a rest in a coffee shop, and come back to the rider's house. At the house, there are some tourists and one of them took me to the Lake Onneto and Yunotaki Hot Spring. Lake Onneto is said to be more beautiful than Lake Mashu, but we didn't enjoy the scenery because of the cloudy sky. We walked to the natural open-air bath for 20 minutes and enjoyed it's comfortable hot water.

Lake Onneto (L) and Yunotaki Hot Spring Bath (R)

June 28, 1999

Today I relaxed doing nothing in Akan Kotan. I went to a coffee shop "Uchujin", which means "alien" in Japanese ) and stayed there for more Than 4 hours. I ate a "Potche", an Ainu native cake made from fermented potatoes. Very good.
When I was reading a book, Mr. Atuy, President of this coffee shop and Marukibune, came in. We had a conversation for some time. He is really interesting man. He set out home at 16 and wandered around the world with a guitar for several years, while he visited many minorities across the world. Then he established his original music, but to my surprise, he doesn't read scores at all. And even he gives very abstract directions to other Moshiri members on the recording like "Please play as the wind". Some famous musicians or recording engineer like Sahara Akira or Iwama Nobuo sympathize his music and policy and play with Moshiri at recording or live tours. I got more interested in Moshiri.

Akan Ainu Kotan (community)

June 29, 1999

Today's the third day since I came to Akan. Mr. Sakamoto, a tourist who came to the rider's house yesterday asked me to go fishing with him just as I began to feel bored. We went to Lake Akan in the early morning. Fishing with sausage as bait at first but it doesn't work well. On the surface lots of fish casually were jumping around. Looking carefully, They are eating Kageros (small insect with wings) just after hatched! I caught a kagero on the fish hook. I put the hook through its arse carefully so that the kagero stayed alive. I took off the bobber and made it swim on the surface. My plan worked remarkably well. Some fish responded to the water rings kageros made and swallowed the swimming kageros. We hooked 6 fishes at last. At the rider's house we cooked and tasted them, of course which were terribly good!

Lake Akan (L) and Lake Onneto(R)

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