Creating sustainable jobs for young Ainu craftspeople and preserving Ainu crafts for future generations

The Hokkaido tourism boom occurred between 1955 and 1950s.At that time, souvenirs such as carved wooden bears sold like hotcakes, and many artisans in Nibutani earned their living by carving wood.However, with the decline of the tourism boom, the number of full-time artisans has continued to decline.Some of them are able to work as artists, but we believe that it is difficult to continue the cultural tradition with only those special people.

With a sense of crisis over this situation, we formed a team of Ainu and Sapporo creators to work together to create products with the vision of “creating sustainable jobs for young Ainu craftspeople and preserving Ainu crafts for the next generation.While capturing the essence of Ainu culture, we are constantly searching for new ways to create things that will lead to the future.

Deepen understanding and co-create Ainu culture

Nowadays, Ainu culture has become more familiar to people as they have more opportunities to see brands and souvenirs that incorporate Ainu patterns.However, it is also true that some of them are depicted in a way that is uncomfortable for the Ainu, or that they are transitory works that do not show respect for traditional culture.

As we utilize traditional culture, we also believe it is our mission to deepen and spread a better understanding of Ainu culture.We place importance on cooperating with companies that want to create something that incorporates Ainu culture, and thinking together, drawing on our wisdom, and co-creating something meaningful for both parties.

Own brand

A brand of lifestyle tools made with young craftsmen in Nibutani based on the concept of “tools with heart.We believe that even tools made by humans have a soul, and we express the richness of the Ainu spirit, which was treated with great care, and develop wood carved tools updated for modern life.

ramgu Brand Site

About NIBUTANIAbout Nibutani Valley

Nibutani Town Preserves Traditional Ainu Skills

Biratori Town and Nibutani are located on the western edge of the Hidaka region, surrounded by rich nature and known as one of the strongholds of Ainu culture.The beautiful Saru River, which reflects the changing seasons, is the symbol of Biratori Town.In the basin of the Saru River, traces of people’s lives have been preserved since prehistoric times, and during the era of the Ainu culture, kotans (settlements) were one of the most prominent in the province.

Nibutani, as an area that retains a strong Ainu culture, has long been the site of researchers and many records of the Ainu language and culture.During the boom years of tourism in Hokkaido, the company continued to manufacture and sell souvenirs, including wooden carved bears, while continuing to pass on the traditional techniques of Ainu handicrafts without interruption up to the present day.

Hokkaido Nibutani

MemberMember Introductio

Kimihiro Kayano
Representative Director, Nibutani Works Co. / CEO 萱野 公裕Kimihiro Kayano

Born in 1988 in Nibutani, Hiratori Town.His grandfather was the late Shigeru Kayano, the first ethnic Ainu to become a member of the Diet, and he has carried on the Ainu culture from his ancestors.After working as a mechanical designer at TMC System Corporation in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, he made a U-turn in 2013.He then studied abroad to learn English and opened Guesthouse Nibutani Yanto in 2018.Nibutani Works, Inc. was established in March 2022.Currently, he manages the guesthouse and supervises all aspects of Ainu culture and crafts at Nibutani Works.

Saki Toriumi
Designer, Nibutani Works Inc. / Designer 鳥海 沙紀Saki Toriumi

Born in Sapporo in 1993.After graduating from Sapporo City University with a degree in product design, he began working for Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten Co.For about 6 years, he was involved in product development with manufacturers nationwide as a production manager and designer.He made a U-turn to Sapporo in 2020 and is currently in charge of all product development and design work for Nibutani Works.He specializes in making simple, comfortable products that update tradition for today’s living.

Osamu Funashima
Director, Nibutani Works Co. / Director 舩島 修Osamu Funashima

Born in Chitose City, Hokkaido.With his experience in various businesses, he focuses on consulting services for businesses that utilize the web and IT, as well as a wide range of support for businesses in Hokkaido, including startup support, new product development support, web and EC site production, package design, and application for various subsidies.At Nibutani Works, he is in charge of planning and sales, supporting all aspects of the business.He enjoys snowboarding and collecting records.

Mutsuo Hirota
Director, Nibutani Works Co. / Director 廣田 陸奥夫Mutsuo Hirota

Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido.He has been a tax accountant for 20 years.At the same time, he also provides consulting services for business revitalization, business succession, and regional revitalization.He considers it his mission to support Hokkaido’s primary industry, which is why he travels throughout Hokkaido in all directions.At Nibutani Works, he is in charge of finance and supports all aspects of operations.His hobbies are hot springs and horses.

CompanyAbout Us

Nibutani Works Co.
capital stock
1.5 million yen
Kimihiro Kayano
80-23, Nibutani, Hiratori-cho, Saru-gun, Hokkaido
Our Business
Planning, development, production, and sales of original products utilizing Ainu patterns and crafts.
Offers proposals, supervision, and consulting services related to the Ainu language and culture.

Company History

Nibutani Works, Inc. established.
Established own brand ramgu
ramgu online store opened
NIBUTANI WORKS official site op

ContactContact form

Nibutani Works provides consultation on the utilization of Ainu culture and crafts,
no matter how large or small.
Please feel free to contact us first.