Iya - Living in the Mountains *RERUN
The mountain hinterlands of Shikoku are dotted with tiny, almost hidden communities. One such place is the Iya Oboke district of Tokushima Prefecture, where the houses cling to the mountainside on a steep slope with an altitude difference of 400m from top to bottom. The people there cultivate fields where the potatoes they dig up could almost roll down the hillside. They feed spring water to their homes and provide for most of their own needs from the blessings of the fields and mountains. Time passes quietly. We discover the people who have built their life on this steep mountainside over the years and the beauties of their four seasons.


Oboke and the downstream community of Koboke are connected by a deep gorge which the plunging River Yoshino has carved out of the rock on its way through the Shikoku mountains. It is a place that every traveler over these mountains must traverse and has been known as a perilous stretch since olden times.

Sliding Door Theater

A traditional performing art has been revived at the Shisho Shrine in the Ushiroyama neighborhood of Nishi Iya after a gap of 50 years. A set of painted sliding doors ten deep is manipulated to present a splendid series of changing scenes. The Tokuzen neighborhood of Nishi Iya also has its own sliding door theater conservation society.