Christina M. Spiker

Christina M. Spiker

Art Historian | Professor | Digital Humanist

Webinar // Irankarapte: An Introduction to Ainu Culture in Japan


Spiker, Christina M. “Irankarapte: An Introduction to Ainu Culture in Japan,” webinar delivered at the Japan America Society of Minnesota (September 3, 2020).


“Irankarapte” is an Ainu greeting. While often translated as “hello,” it means “allow me to touch your heart.” The Ainu are an indigenous people of Japan with their own language, religion, and cultural identity. Together with Dr. Christina Spiker, explore the development of Ainu culture and history through art, language, and material artifacts. This webinar will examine both historical and contemporary aspects of Ainu culture, including the surprising ways that Ainu and American history intersect in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We will also explore the recent 2020 opening of the new national museum dedicated to the Ainu in Shiraoi, Hokkaido, and Ainu representation in popular media.