Project 2

Discover Beauty

Discover Beauty

With “Discover Beauty,” as the theme, we will host a symposium focusing on the Ainu culture as part of “beauty" in Japan as well as screening short films that focus on the beauty of other cultures depicting "indigenous people" and "local festivals" around the world.

Discover Beauty Symposium

Two experts involved in Ainu culture and art and on the cutting edge of film production, direction, and critique of films and art content will be invited to discuss the origins of sustainability and its aesthetics as learned from the Ainu. The talk will be held against the backdrop of the forest and lakeside of Lake Akan, a national park that is sacred to the Ainu people. We will find hints from the Ainu culture that are essential for modern society to effectively achieve SDGs.
Moderator: Chuk Besher
Panelists: Mr. Hideo Akibe, Ms. Satomi Igarashi

Scheduled to be held in June 17th, 2022.
Details will be announced as soon as decided.

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Short version (6:03)

Full version (19:53)


  • Hideo Akibe

    Hideo Akibe

    Ainu Performing Arts Creative Director

    After graduating from high school, he apprenticed with his father as a woodcarver. He learned Ainu dance and its techniques under the tutelage of Toko Nupuri, Toyojiro Yontaku, and others in the village of Kotan.

    In addition to running a folk craft store, he is a member of the Akan Ainu Craft Cooperative Association, the Akan Ainu Association, and the Akan Ainu Folk Culture Preservation Society, and contributes to the promotion of understanding of Ainu culture in various genres, including artistic activities, cultural preservation and cultural lectures.

    He also served as the director of the ""Ainu Culture Creation Council"" established for the purpose of promoting Ainu culture at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and successfully led the Ainu Culture Creation Performance.

  • Satomi Igarashi

    Satomi Igarashi

    Art Historian
    Curatorial Director, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art

    Born in Kushiro, Hokkaido in 1964.
    Igarashi graduated from Hirosaki University in 1986, Faculty of Humanities, majoring in Japanese art history. She has worked as a curator at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern, served as deputy director of the Yoshitaro Mikishi Museum of Art & others in Hokkaido before assuming her current position. She has curated exhibitions such as "AINU ART: Kaze no Kataribe" (2013, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art) and "Show Up. The Life of Morira: The World of Woodcarver Takeki Fujito" (2017, Sapporo Art Park Museum), "Beautiful Handicrafts of the Ainu People" (2019, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art), & others. She received the BIRENKYO Grand Prize for Outstanding Paper Award in 2019 & her publications include "Ainu Emaki Exploration: Unraveling the Mystery of Historical Drama" (Hokkaido Shinbunsha). She has given numerous lectures on Ainu paintings and sculptures.

  • Chuk Besher

    Chuk Besher


    Born in Kobe, Japan, Besher is a Japanese citizen of Russian heritage―a son of stateless Russian refugee parents.
    Besher is the creator/producer of an award-winning documentary series―Future is MINE―featuring Japanese women in their journey of self-empowerment. Current film, Ainu My Voice, is being nominated by multiple international film festivals.
    Besher has a broad range of experience in communication and government?spanning careers in politics, marketing, broadcasting, and government relations. Most recently, Besher was in charge of communication planning for the Olympics and FIFA World Cup as well public affairs and sustainability at Coca-Cola Japan. Besher is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs―where he received a graduate degree in East Asian Studies and Communication. Besher’s publications include books in Japanese, Japan and the World Seen from Columbia University, and Corporate Crisis Management. Besher is a columnist for Tokyo Headline. Besher currently works for Japan’s leading IT firm, GREE, and its subsidiary 3Minute Inc., where he is involved in its Media and Advertising business. Besher lives in Tokyo, with wife Yuki, and two sons Noah (8), and Luka (6).

Discover Beauty Program

The "Discover Beauty Program" is a selection of short films that contemplates the "beauty in Japan" through the depiction of "beauty in the world." An online symposium related to the content of these films will also be held. Last year, we focused on women's empowerment as a social issue, and assembled short films by female directors. This year, we will screen in venues & online, short films on "indigenous peoples" and "local festivals" from around the world, including Japan, introducing the "beauty" of each culture. We hope you will enjoy these films.

Online Event Date: 6/7 - 6/20

  • Tā Moko - Behind the Tattooed Face

    Tā Moko - Behind the Tattooed Face

    Mick Andrews & David Atkinson
    New Zealand / 0:12:14 / Non-Fiction / 2019

    Maori face tattooing, tā moko, is a tradition that almost died out through colonization. Bernard and Sapphire are passionate about seeing Maori communities unite and heal through rediscovering their customs. This film follows their pain and triumph as they receive face tattoos of their own.

    Hiroki Inoue

    Director Mick Andrews & David Atkinson

    Mick uses film to tells stories with a heartbeat. His films have traveled to over 60 International Film Festivals and won Best Short Film at the Nantucket Film Festival.

    Dave spends much of his year travelling to developing countries making films about pain, loss and hope for non-profit organizations.

  • Malanka


    Paul-Louis Léger & Pascal Messaoudi
    France / 0:13:00 / Non-Fiction / 2019

    Somewhere in the Ukrainian hills, near the Romanian border, Gigi celebrates Malanka, a pagan festival where bears are heroes.

    Hiroki Inoue

    Director Paul-Louis Léger & Pascal Messaoudi

    Paul-Louis Léger is a director-photographer, he sometimes do advertisements for notorious brands and he directed short films.
    Pascal Messaoudi is a director of documentary films and sound creations who is interested by the different forms of sound representations of the real.

  • Kapaemahu


    Dean Hamer, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, & Joe WIlson
    USA / 0:08:30 / Animation / 2020

    The hidden history of four mysterious boulders on Waikiki Beach—and the mystical transgender healing spirits within them.

    Hiroki Inoue

    Director Dean Hamer, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, & Joe WIlson

    Kapaemahu is a collaboration between Native Hawaiian educator and cultural practitioner Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Emmy and GLAAD award-winning filmmaker activists Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, and Oscar-nominated animator Daniel Sousa. Their works have screened in Berlin, Toronto, and Sundance, and touched hearts across the Pacific and around the world.

  • TEZUTSU -fire flower town-

    TEZUTSU -fire flower town-

    Tatsuya Ino
    Japan / 0:12:12 / Non-Fiction / 2017

    Tezutsu hand-held fireworks have continued their tradition for 450 years in Aichi prefecture. How do the youths feel when experiencing this tradition for the first time in their lives?

    Hiroki Inoue

    Director Tatsuya Ino

    Born in 1988. After working as a production director for Toei CM, Tatsuya Ino started his film career as a videographer in 2012. With a small team, Ino is exploring ways to express the reality of a place and people with run and gun video production strategies.