Profile of FRPAC

Umeko Ando

Winner of the 4th Ainu Cultural Promotion Award (Individual)

Umeko Ando

Hearing her mother's mukkuri, ihunke and uepeker, she developed her skills and came to be called "the master player of mukkuri." Even after marriage, she still continued to respect the Ainu traditions and daily customs, and has made much effort to promote and let Ainu culture prevail by transmitting and preserving the Ainu language, traditional dancing and manners.In addition, she works as one of the few trainers in the Tokachi area, training her successors how to cook, distill "tonoto (alcohol)" and make "keri (shoes)" - all of which are done in a traditional manner.She has devoted herself to transmitting and preserving Ainu culture for many years and still is today, despite her age. Her earnest attitude as such is exemplary to Ainu culture transmitters in many ways.



Date of birth:November 20, 1932
Current address:Makubetsu-cho, Nakagawa-gun, Hokkaido


1960 Contributes to the establishment of the Obihiro Kamuitou-upopo Hozonkai (Obihiro Kamuitou-upopo Preservation Society), and works there as a trainer.
1983 Receives the Makubetsu Cultural Promotion Award.
1984 Takes part in establishing the Makuunbetsu Ainu Culture Preservation Society. Exerts herself mainly in Makubetsu-cho to preserve and pass down Ainu culture, while she also trains successors. Her mukkuri recording was used as background music in a special NHK program.
1985 Gives lectures, plays the mukkuri and gives "keri"- making classes at high schools in the Tokachi area.
1993 Becomes a teacher at Obihiro Ainu Language School.
1994 Makubetsu-cho Board of Education produces the CD "Umeko Ando - the World of Mukkuri."
2000 Receives Cultural Award from the Tokachi Bunkadantai Kyogikai (Tokachi Council of Cultural Organizations).


Umeko Ando has also cooperated in many investigations and cultural recordings.