the music of souls
echoing in daily life
whispers of jaw harps
Kim M. Russell, 8th August 2018
My response to Carpe Diem #1492 Ainu, the Japanese from the North
Today we are visiting the ancient Ainu, a Japanese people from northern Japan. The oral Ainu culture includes various genres, including upopo, lighthearted ballads on daily affairs and rituals, which are often accompanied by traditional Ainu instruments, and yukar (mimicry), a form of rhythmic epic poetry often supported by light percussion. Almost every type of Ainu song is sacred and even the musical instruments, such as the tonkori, a plucked zither, and the mukkuri, a jaw harp played by women, are said to be imbued with souls.