Playful relief: Folk performing arts in Japan after the 2011 Tsunami

Ken Miichi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the roles of folk performing arts within the wider context of disaster relief in Japan following the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters. It focuses on two Shinto-based troupes located along the devastated Sanriku coastal region-Kadonaka-gumi Toramai and Unotori Kagura. Both groups perform ludic, entertaining acts as part of their repertoires. Their playful ritual practices draw upon elements of local religious traditions as they provide a form of relief to aid the victims of disaster by helping them rebuild their lives and communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-162
Number of pages24
JournalAsian Ethnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Disaster
  • Folk performing arts
  • Great East Japan earthquake
  • Japan
  • Play
  • Relief
  • Ritual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Anthropology
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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