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Hiroshima Noh performance commemorates A-bomb victims

HIROSHIMA -- A Noh performance was held on the evening of Nov. 15 in this west Japan city's Naka Ward to commemorate atomic bomb victims, call for the abolition of nuclear weapons and promote preservation of the Noh tradition.

    The event Torchlight Noh at the Atomic Bomb Dome is held in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima's Naka Ward on Nov. 15, 2021. (Mainichi/Kenji Ikai) =Click/tap photo for more images.

    The event, Torchlight Noh at the Atomic Bomb Dome, was headed by the volunteer-run Torchlight Noh Planning Committee with co-hosting from the Hiroshima Municipal Government. A subtle, profound dance took place in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome, which marks its 25th anniversary as a listed World Heritage site in December. The performance was also livestreamed.

    Filmmaker Masaaki Tanabe, 83, who was born and raised in a home that was located on the east side of what became the Atomic Bomb Dome, devised the idea and was a producer on the event for over a year. With the help of Oshima Noh Family members, a special stage was set up. On it, the "Takasago," which prays for peace and wellbeing, and "Hagoromo," which sounds similar to the name of a town near the hypocenter, were performed.

    Tanabe had been evacuated to neighboring Yamaguchi Prefecture when the atomic bomb struck on Aug. 6, 1945, and took the lives of his parents and younger brother. Since 1998, he has released six documentary films showing the cityscape before the atomic bombing by making full use of computer graphics and other image technology. The works have attracted attention both in Japan and overseas.

    The filmmaker grew up in the former Sarugakucho area, said to be named after the "Sarugaku" performing art Noh theater developed from. Tanabe pushed himself to hold the event while thinking of it as his last work to bring repose to the town and the souls of those lost to the atomic bombing.

    (Japanese original by Noboru Ujo and Naomi Yamamoto, Hiroshima Bureau)

    In Photos: Torchlight Noh performance held in front of Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome

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