PROMOTING JAPANESE CULTURAL TOURISM THROUGH APPRECIATION OF AINU FOLKTALES AND ANIME

Ida Ayu Laksmita Sari, Wanda Listiani

Abstract


ABSTRACT

Japan ranks fourth out of ten favourite countries visited by Indonesian tourists after Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Promotion of airline ticket prices and tour packages through travel fairs and promotion of Japan to host the 2020 Olympics are contributing factors that will continue to make Indonesian tourists visiting Japan increases. Japan has always been famous for their natural tourist attractions such as Mount Fujiyama and Sakura flowers. In terms of culture, Japan is known as a country with a homogeneous culture. In fact, Japanese culture is heterogeneous as indicated by the existence of Ainu indigenous people who traditionally lived in the Hokkaido Islands, North Japan. Later, the Ainu ethnic group make use of their unique cultural and tradition to promote an ethnic tourism that attracted many domestic tourists. This article introduces the diversity of Japanese culture as a promotion of Japanese cultural tourism. This qualitative study began by selecting three Ainu folktales and Ainu-based story anime to be shared with 10 Japanese students, teachers, and lecturers in Denpasar. They were asked to choose and read three of the ten stories provided and watch the anime, then fill out questionnaire to indicate their response on Ainu culture and tradition. The study shows that the teachers gained new knowledge about the Ainu culture and understood the heterogeneity of Japanese culture. They were interested in spreading it to their students and fellow students. While the impact of the appreciation of folktales and Ainu-based story of anime in increasing Indonesian tourists to Japan remains to be awaited, the introduction of the diversity of Japanese culture through Ainu folktales contribute to the promotion on how the Ainu people in Hokkaido promote their ethnic tourism and to the introduction of various type of cultural tourism that Japan has to offer.
Keywords: Ainu culture, cultural tourism, folktale, Japanese subculture


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