The summer months have traditionally been a time when Tokyoites tried to avoid the urban heat either by escaping to the mountains, beaches or, if that was not possible, venturing out during the evening to sit on the riverbank, drink cool, refreshing beverages and listen to ghost stories.

Ghosts have played a large part in daily urban life since Edo Period Japan, and the performing and narrative arts are full of stories of ghosts, both helpful and vengeful, whose recounting no doubt sent chills through the listeners' spines (perhaps not altogether an ineffective way to beat the heat).

Kioi Hall, which sponsors a series of interesting and unusual hogaku programs, is presenting some of hogaku's finest ghost stories in its July concert. But there is a twist: The Japanese ghosts will be joined by one of their occidental counterparts, in a true "spirit" of international cooperation.