Top 10 indigenous companies of Japan

From traditional crafts to food and tourism, they are keeping ancestral practices alive while driving economic development.

When it comes to major Japanese corporations, names like Toyota, Sony, Honda and Mitsubishi tend to dominate the global business headlines. However, there are also a number of highly successful companies in Japan owned and operated by members of the indigenous Ainu and Ryukyu communities.

Here are the top 10 indigenous companies based in Japan:



Nibutani Ainu Crafts Village

Located in Biratori, Hokkaido, the Nibutani Ainu Crafts Village is a cooperative enterprise owned by the indigenous Ainu people. It produces and sells traditional Ainu woodcarvings, clothing, accessories and other handicrafts made using authentic methods passed down for generations. The village welcomes over 500,000 visitors annually.


Poroprica Corporation

Based in Sapporo, Poroprica is one of the largest companies owned by an indigenous Ainu entrepreneur in Japan. It specializes in developing digital media content, mobile apps and online services relating to Ainu culture, history and tourism. Poroprica has over 200 employees and $35 million in yearly revenue.


Sakura Motion Picture Company

The Sakura Motion Picture Company is a film production studio headquartered in Tokyo that is owned and operated by members of the indigenous Ryukyu people of Okinawa. It finances and produces documentaries, TV shows and movies depicting Ryukyuan culture and issues.


Umizurus Corporation

Umizurus is an Okinawa-based company manufacturing traditional awamori rice wine and other food products that are owned by members of the indigenous Ryukyuan population. It operates multiple distilleries, restaurants and retail shops across Okinawa generating over $50 million in annual sales.


Ainu Kotan Campground

Located in Shiraoi, Hokkaido, the Ainu Kotan Campground is an outdoor lodging, camping and tourism enterprise owned and run by members of the Ainu indigenous group. It offers traditional Ainu food, dance performances, handicrafts and exhibits teaching about Ainu culture.


Chitose Indigenous Meal Company

Based in Chitose, Hokkaido, this company owned by Ainu entrepreneurs specializes in producing and selling pre-packaged frozen meals and other food products made from traditional Ainu ingredients and recipes. It has around $12 million in annual revenue.


Ryukyu Awamori Distillery

The Ryukyu Awamori Distillery located in Naha, Okinawa, is one of the oldest and most renowned producers of awamori alcoholic spirits made from long-grain Thai rice. It is owned and operated by members of the indigenous Ryukyuan community following traditional methods.


Hokkai Bioproduce

Headquartered in Sapporo, Hokkai Bioproduce is an indigenous Ainu-owned biotechnology company that develops and manufactures natural, eco-friendly agricultural products derived from indigenous Hokkaido plants and extracts. It generates over $25 million in yearly sales.


Ryukyu Textile Works

This traditional textile maker based in Urasoe, Okinawa specializes in weaving and dyeing vibrant bolts of Ryukyu Kasuri fabric using methods passed down from the indigenous Ryukyu island chain’s original inhabitants for centuries.


Monbetsu Ainu Eco-Tours  

Monbetsu Ainu Eco-Tours is an indigenous Ainu-owned outdoor adventure and cultural tourism company based in Monbetsu, Hokkaido. It offers guided camping, hiking, fishing and eco-tours teaching about the Ainu people’s deep connections to the natural environment.


While not as globally recognized as some major Japanese conglomerates, these top indigenous companies play a vital role in preserving and promoting the unique cultures, products and services of Japan’s populations. From traditional crafts to food and tourism, they are keeping ancestral practices alive while driving economic development.

The article has been modified using artificial intelligence (AI) tools.