The Japan Society
Events Past Events

Past Events

ARCHIVED Contemporary Ainu Life and Music: Pre-performance Talk with OKI

Saturday 26 August 2023 / 7:15pm
Contemporary Ainu Life and Music: Pre-performance Talk with OKI

Saturday 26 August 2023
7.15pm (Doors open 7.00pm)

St Marys Music Hall

8 Church Rd
London E17 9RJ

Booking Details
Free - No booking necessary, however a
valid ticket for OKI's performance at St Marys Music Hall is required to attend this event (tickets can be purchased here - £3 discount available by entering the code ‘save’ when booking)

Following the critically acclaimed Tonkori in the Moonlight, a compilation of OKI’s early music that combines tender tonkori melodies, meditative dub excursions and Ainu folk songs, OKI returns to London to play at St Marys Music Hall, together with his wife Rekpo, a member of leading all-female vocal group Marewrew, son, Manaw Kano and long-time collaborator, Takashi Nakajo.  

In this special pre-performance event, Japan Society members and friends are invited to join OKI, Rekpo and Manaw in conversation with Dr Eiko Soga, artist who conducted field work documenting the process of learning and embodying Ainu knowledge in her practice. Eiko has previously interviewed both OKI and Rekpo individually for her work in Tonkori: Musical Conservations with Oki and Marewrew’s Voice 

Born in Hokkaido, 1957, OKI is a contemporary of the likes of Haruomi Hosono and Midori Takada, an explorative folk musician who blends indigenous Ainu folk music with international influences and who is without question the most influential living Ainu musician. Tonkori in the Moonlight is a collection of material from OKI’s first decade of releasing music, mainly Japanese-only releases from 1996-2006, which shows how he embraced reggae, dub, Irish folk, throat singing, African drumming and music from Central Asia. It is his openness to international influences that has helped him revitalise Ainu folk music and he is one of only a handful of musicians who play the tonkori, a five-stringed Ainu harp. Tonkori in the Moonlight was chosen as one of  the best folk albums of 2022 by The Guardian 

Dr Eiko Soga is an artist based in London. Soga works with moving image, photography, poetry and installation to explore how our sensory knowledge-based engagement contributes to a diverse ecosystem of the more-than-human world. During her practice-led PhD at The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, Soga conducted field work in Hokkaido, documenting the process of learning and embodying Ainu knowledge through learning how to work in nature and cook throughout different seasons in the Ainu way that is considered to be ecological and community oriented.  

If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email