By the 1970s the traditions discussed above were being practised in a living sense by a very few elderly Ainu. Since then, however, interest has grown among the Ainu themselves and more widely within Japan. This, and a heightented political awareness, has led to the establishment of various Ainu-related research or culture centres in Hokkaidō, including the Ainu Museum in Shiraoi. This trend has engendered an increase in folkloric performances, both at tourist-orientated facilities in Hokkaidō and on stages elsewhere in Japan and abroad. Young Ainu are also taking an interest in their roots, as reflected in the albums of neo-traditional music by Oki, an Ainu who is an arts graduate of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
Published research on Ainu music itself has remained sparse. Chiba Nobuhiko has begun to provide a flood of detailed analyses of tonkorimusic in particular, and other researchers will soon follow. Foreign researchers have perhaps been dissuaded by the challenge of learning both Japanese and Ainu languages.