Sounding the Island: Representing Chikubu Island in Japanese traditional performing arts

Henry Johnson
2021 Shima  
The uninhabited yet socially active and culturally important Japanese island of Chikubu (Chikubu-shima) is situated towards the northern end of Lake Biwa in the Kansai region of Japan's largest island of Honshū. Chikubu Island is linked to Shintō and Buddhist ritualistic culture and hosts tens of thousands of day-tripper pilgrims who travel there each year. But its cultural significance is also carried beyond its aquatic margins through multimodal signification in Japanese traditional
more » ... arts where meaning connected with the island is portrayed through visual and sonic media. Extending discourse on islands and performing arts, this article shows how one culturally noteworthy Japanese island is imagined within creative practices and how island meaning is embodied in settings that are far removed from the island's physical or lake environment. Expanding the scope of Island Studies, select creative works are discussed in terms of how they represent Chikubu Island through sound and symbol.
doi:10.21463/shima.128 fatcat:jnih7agxkvewtcgohpudhw4i4i