Come join us for this powerful ethnic music performance by a prominent Indigenous musician from northern Japan. Oki (Ainu from northern Japan) will be accompanied by Nate Renner (University of Toronto) to share the music and worldview of his people.
Oki is an Ainu (aborigines who lived mainly in Hokkaido island and Sakhalin)-blooded musician, composer and producer. He is widely known in Japan as a reviver of tonkori, a traditional instrument handed down by Sakhalin Ainu, which had been left without player for a long period behind the window of the museum.
He taught himself how to play tonkori with the help of old, noisy recordings and also learnt how to build tonkori. And then he started to make his own music.
OKI's music widely varies from instrumental pieces inspired from traditional rhythms of tonkori and Upopo ("songs" in Ainu language). In 2007, OKI formed Oki Dub Ainu Band, such as tonkori players and dancers, bassist, drummer, keyboards and dub engineer. They were one of the sensations of the WOMADelade festival 2017 in Australia.
Their music is strongly like breaking the long silence which Ainu have been forced, cultural exploitation or discrimination in Japanese history. Ancient Ainu has built wild and tough culture through trading or interchange of neighboring people. OKI tries the same thing—with the tonkori in his hand, he travels around the world and set out to retrieve a strong, traditional Ainu culture which they lost behind the era of hardship. OKI has been produced and released 20 albums since 1996 from his own label “CHIKAR STUDIO” Facebook oki dub ainu band, oki kano.
This event is funded by StudiOC, LIASE, East Asian Studies, History, and Environmental Studies at Oberlin College.