Ritual and Folk Performance Art
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 are of great significance as benefactors and frequently perform in communities in the region. As a former member of the Iwate Prefectural Committee for the Protection of Cultural Properties, Dr. Hashimoto worked for Kagura's designation as the prefecture's Intangible Folk Cultural Property, considering the importance of this tradition in maintaining a regional network.
From Dr. Hashimoto on his involvement:
I received a message saying, "Please help" from one of my students in my class at Morioka University in Iwate Prefecture. She was a member of Tanabata festival in Rikuzentakata, which was seriously damaged by the tsunami. Since then, I have continued to support their community through the Tanabata festival.