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Japan Photo Journal: Blind tradition

(Mainichi/Shigeharu Asami)

Women re-enact a procession of traditional goze, or visually impaired female entertainers, amid snowfall in the city of Joetsu in the northern Japan prefecture of Niigata on Feb. 9, 2020. The tradition is locally referred to as Takada goze after the former city of Takada that is now part of the city of Joetsu. The so-called "kadozuke" processions would involve blind entertainers singing to music of traditional shamisen instruments as they sought donations in shopping areas and other places. The re-enactment is staged every year by a nonprofit group for the preservation of Takada goze to encourage people to think about how goze lived, and to pass on the tradition as a cultural asset.

    (Japanese original by Shigeharu Asami, Joetsu Local Bureau)

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