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Atsushi Monbetsu
Shared Lines: Ramat Koro Kur exhibiting artist

Traditional Ainu bow dance

Bone Knife

Atsushi Monbetsu (Nibutani Ainu) - carver, hunter


Atsushi is a professional Ainu hunter, a carver and environmentalist. When he discovered his Ainu roots at the age of ten, he wanted to know more about his culture and started learning traditional Ainu dances. He has been a dancer ever since. 


Around the same time, he had a strong yearning to be a hunter, as hunting was a major subsistence for his ancestors. In his early 20s, he started following hunters to observe how they hunted in the mountains. At around 30, he acquired a gun and a permit to carry it. He hunted part-time, while working in the construction industry. 


In 2017, he became a full-time deer hunter. When he enters the mountains, he offers the mountain god an Ainu prayer, which he learned from an elder. 


His aspiration is to revive the old practices of his ancestors -- living with Kamuy (Ainu gods) and giving thanks for the bounties of nature. Atsushi holds hand-on workshops where non-Ainu can learn the spiritual aspects of Ainu culture based on hunting. His artworks are mostly accessories using deer bones and bear claws. He gives talks to various groups in and outside of Hokkaido about his life as an Ainu hunter.

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