A good chance to enjoy a glimpse of visual and performing arts of rural old Japan will come to Tokyo Feb. 19-20. The Kioi Small Hall will present a special program titled “Traditional Performing Arts of Shiiba, Miyazaki” to introduce rarely seen dances and chants performed in front of a profusely decorated altar.

Shiiba is a village tucked away in the mountainous interior of Kyushu. Surrounded by high peaks exceeding 1,000 meters above sea level, the village is one of the most isolated locations in Japan today. Abundant rainfall nurtures thick forests and chisels numerous gorges on mountainsides. Each gorge hides a hamlet or two in its depth, where a few households perch on steep hillside clearings in the woods. Even today 95 percent of the village area is wooded mountains, with only 1 percent arable.

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