Midsummer with the Ancestors: Wakasa Town

Journeys in Japan

28m 00s
Broadcast on October 4, 2022 Available until March 31, 2024

The town of Wakasa-cho lies on the coast of Fukui Prefecture, looking out on the Sea of Japan. In the old days, the town thrived as a key hub on a highway connecting the region with Kyoto. Each year in August, a traditional dance known as Rokusai Nenbutsu is performed by people in this town. The ceremony, which dates back over 700 years, is held to mark the midsummer Obon holiday, when the ancestors are believed to return to their former homes. On this episode of Journeys in Japan, rakugo artist Cyril Coppini meets the local people who are keeping alive this tradition, to ensure that generations to come will continue to welcome the spirits of their forebears.

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