When Masayuki Sasayama's house was swept away by the tsunami three years ago, he was temporarily separated from his family and forced to stay in an evacuation shelter, but the tragedy did not stop him from helping preserve his hometown's "kagura," a traditional performance art dedicated to Shinto gods.

Sasayama, who has been reunited with his family but still lives in temporary housing, is a member of Nanbuhan Jushoin Nengyoji Shihaidaikagura, a group that performs a Shinto dance and plays music dating back to 1699 and which is a vital part of an annual festival in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture. Kamaishi is one of the coastal communities devastated by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

Seven months after the disasters, the group began performing the dance again on a regular basis, even if it meant having to borrow vital supplies, including drums.