The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Necklace of Ainu beads

  • HI 5592
  • Hokkaido
Necklace of Aynu beads

Necklaces made by combining beautiful beads were indispensable for formal dressing of Aynu women, and these beaded necklaces were considered one of their most valuable assets. The glass beads were acquired through trade with the neighboring continent, and were used in the manufacture of necklaces of special Aynu designs, by Aynu women. In later periods, beads from Honshu (Japan’s main island) were also used. The Hokkaido Aynu apparently preferred larger beads, and some of the necklaces on display weigh several kilograms.