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Eriko Aoyagi

For Eriko Aoyagi's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Hokkaido 'senbei' firm looks to crack overseas market

Aug 13, 2015

Hokkaido 'senbei' firm looks to crack overseas market

A shop in Sapporo aims to crack an overseas market this fall with its hand-grilled senbei rice crackers made entirely from rice grown in Hokkaido. Samurai Senbei has gained a strong local following since it opened in January and its 39-year-old founder is confident ...

Memories of the man who inspired 'Giovanni's Island'

May 4, 2015

Memories of the man who inspired 'Giovanni's Island'

The man whose life inspired the 2014 animated film “Giovanni’s Island” has described the two years he shared with friends from the former Soviet Union and the impact of its occupation of his hometown following World War II. Hiroshi Tokuno, now 81, recalled how ...

Photographer documents Ainu life

Jan 20, 2015

Photographer documents Ainu life

Taka Maesawa, a photographer from Nakashibetsu, Hokkaido, has published a photo book documenting the Ainu ethnic minority for more than 30 years since 1983. “I want people to know about the beautiful Ainu culture and the history of ethnic Ainu who have been discriminated ...

Jun 10, 2014

Retired Hokkaido farmer describes rural plight in novels

Novelist Hiroshi Tamai, a 79-year-old self-described “peasant writer,” is proud that he persisted with his craft through the toughest years as a cattle farmer in Betsukai, eastern Hokkaido. In the mid-1950s, the Japanese government sought young people to join a pilot project to cultivate ...

Girl embraces Ainu dance, shivers her timbers

Feb 21, 2014

Girl embraces Ainu dance, shivers her timbers

Ayaka Ono is not an Ainu but has long been fascinated by the indigenous inhabitants of Hokkaido. Last year, she even became a performer of one of their traditional dances. The 18-year-old, currently a sophomore at a high school in Kushiro, eastern Hokkaido, is ...