30. Oct 2022 | History

Hokkaido Trivia – Gift for Leah, Ainu Carving

I got this gift for my friend’s baby girl at the Ainu Village in Akan, eastern Hokkaido. It’s Koro Pokkuru, a dwarf in the Ainu myth. Koro Pokkoru lives under the giant butterbur leaves that’s significant for Hokkaido. He has a long beard and a hat.  This is a wood carving by an Ainu artist. The e beard is carved out using the same method as the Ainu people carve the “shavings” for their ritual item Inau.

Koro Pokkuru is a god of happiness. He’s a little guy who’s always there to give a helping hand to those in need. (May he be there for little Leah when she needs help as she grows older💓)

But he’s also playful and always playing pranks on the Ainu people. If anything bad happens, the Ainu people would just let it go saying that it’s the Koro Pokkuru again having fun.   

People in Hokkaido, whether you’re an Ainu descendant or not, are familiar with many of the Ainu gods and are respectful to them.  Koro Pokkuru could be the god most “popularized”.  Take a closer look at the souvenir shops. You’ll find this little guy, sometimes holding a butterbur leaf, here and there “disguised” as key chains or cell phone straps, postcards, wood carvings and figurines!

Hope Koro Pokkuru can help YOU make your visit here exciting and fun, too!