Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

Report on “ARCTIC LIFE ~ with an Arctic hunter and glaciologist” at National Museum of Emerging Science in Tokyo

On Saturday, 23 2019, a public event “ARCTIC LIFE ~ with an Arctic hunter and glaciologist” was held at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo. For this event, we invited Toku Oshima, a hunter living in Qaanaaq, a small village in northwestern Greenland. She supports our field research activities in Greenland carried out under the ArCS Project. She talked about Arctic  natural environment, traditional culture, life and importance of scientific research in Greenland. The purpose of this event was to share with the general public our knowledge and experience about the current Arctic environment, the culture and life of people living there, and the importance of the Arctic region.

The event was very lively with 39 people from 3-year-old children to people in their 70s, which were greater number and broader generation range than our expectations. Participants enjoyed hand craft, making key chains from seal skin hunted and processed by Toku in Greenland. The audience mentioned the seal skin was softer and easier to handle than they thought and asked how to process skin after hunting. We also presented traditional materials and crafts brought by Toku, such as accessories made of Polar bear claws, gloves made of fox fur, a seal skin whip used for dog sledging. This was the first time for most of the participants to touch real animal fur. It was a good opportunity for everyone to learn how people live in the Arctic and talk with Toku about Greenland.

Izumi Asaji (Hokkaido University)

The speaker Toku Oshima (left) and Shin Sugiyama (right).

Participants making key holders with seals skin.

Toku Oshima drilled keyring holes in participants' work.

Audience and speakers talked about life in Greenland.