If you’ve ever spent time in Hokkaido or have read about the island before, you’ll likely know about the Ainu people. The Ainu are an indigenous group of people from Hokkaido. In the Ainu language, Hokkaido is known as “Ainu Mosir.” This name is given to the title of the film, which is set in the town Ainu Kotan by Lake Akan.
In the film, a 14-year-old boy named Kanto is struggling with his identity. For Kanto, his life has always been surrounded by Ainu culture. Now, after losing his father and readying himself for a school transition, he is beginning to feel more of a disconnect to his hometown. Throughout the film, Kanto’s beliefs of family, culture, and tradition are tested and they end up growing in new ways.
This film highlights an aspect of Japanese culture that is often untold by traditional narratives. Viewers get a short yet sweet glimpse into the lives of Ainu people. Take a look at this film if you're interested in learning more about Ainu stories, or if you'd like to enjoy some scenic views of Eastern Hokkaido.