Takeshi ABE



Director, Tohoku Bunkazai Eizo Kenkujo (Institution for research and documentation of cultural properties in Tohoku area)


Production of video records

I have primarily produced videos of folk performance arts and folk events in Tohoku and Iwate, and investigated customs and changes accompanying their historical development. The video clips are published on YouTube, making them accessible to researchers and enthusiasts to help deepen their understanding of the topic. Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, I have continuously recorded coastal performing arts and festivals in Iwate and Miyagi to document their changes. Since spring 2020, I have been researching the ways in which the occurrence of festivals and folk arts performances has dramatically declined in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the changing attitudes of folk performing arts groups. In particular, I have recorded rites, festivals, and offerings of folk performing art groups during the COVID-19 pandemic and surveyed performers’ attitudes about them.


Tohoku region, Japan


People’s beliefs about infectious diseases varied greatly across regions. The survey records indicate that following the Great East Japan Earthquake, the strength of coastal people’s unity supported the performing arts; however, this time, a high degree of self-restraint was observed in their activities. Further, inland people reaffirmed the function of folk performing arts, and performed various activities, such as dedicating performances at ritual festivals.


  • 2011 Film “3.11 Great East Japan Earthquake – Folk entertainment response” (Updated version published annually)
  • 2012 Film “Take Kagura: Folklore of the Four Seasons,” commissioned by the Iwate Prefectural Museum
  • 2014 Commentary and booklet on the performance of Waga Daijou Kagura, Zenkoku Minzoku Geinou Taikai (National Folk Entertainment Convention; Minzoku Geinou, No. 89).
  • 2014 “Methods of Videorecording in the Tohoku Region—From Kagura in Iwate” Journal of the Japanese Society for History of the Performing Arts Research, No. 206.
  • 2016 Keynote speech “Present Situation and Outlook of Performing Arts in Affected Regions Five Years after the Disaster” Minzoku Geinou Sumitacho Taikai (Sumita Folk Entertainment Convention; Studies on Folkloric Performing Arts No. 61).
  • 2018 Preparation and report of Waga Daijou Kagura Survey and Video Records in the Kitakami Hanamaki Region (2012–)
  • 2019 Planned and created “Visiting the Iwate Hometown Performing Arts—Hometown Performing Arts Illustrated Introductory Book” issued by the Kitakami Michinoku Traditional Dance Festival.
  • 2020 Film “Festival and folk entertainment (Part 5) after the Great East Japan Earthquake along the Iwate Sanriku coast