Accepted Paper:

Restoration of communities through folk performing arts: kagura performers after the great Tohoku earthquake  

Author:

Hiroyuki Hashimoto (Otemon Gakuin University)

Paper short abstract:

Based on my own involvement in supporting Unotori kagura, the ritual dance of Fudai, a village near the Pacific coast, I will discuss how folk performing arts could contribute to the restoration of the community and show how kagura performers can sustain their role as they recover from the tsunami.

Paper long abstract:

Iwate, northern Japan, is known for its abundant resources of folk performing arts, and among them is Unotori kagura, the ritual dance of Fudai, a village near the Pacific Coast. Kagura performers have great significance as benefactors and frequently perform in communities in the region. As the member of Iwate prefectural committee for the protection of cultural properties, I have worked for its designation as the prefecture's Intangible Folk Cultural Property, considering the importance of this tradition in maintaining a regional network.

However, Unotori kagura has been seriously damaged by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Since then, I have started various projects such as inviting them to Kansai area which had been damaged by the Great Hanshin Earthquake, resuming damaged yado (lodging) where they perform for local villagers in communities, and establishing new lodgings and related events, to support not only Unotori kagura but also many groups of folk performing arts in the region. Inspired by the idea of what Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger call 'community of practice', I will discuss how folk performing arts could contribute to the restoration of the community and show how kagura performers can sustain their role as they recover from the disaster.

Panel P083
Heritage bridges people: towards recovery from wars and disasters (CLOSED - 6) (NME panel)