This website is a guide to the intermittently assembled rural Nishi-Shioko Revolving Stage that has been handed down through the generations from the late Edo Period in Nishi-Shioko District, Hitachi Omiya City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
Until about 1945, this stage was regularly assembled and was a familiar attraction among the locals and the people in the surrounding areas. After that time, however, it was no longer erected and lay forgotten in its storehouse, just as it had been after its final use in the 1940s.
In 1991 the Omiya Town History and Folk Custom Resource Centre, as it was at the time, carried out a study of the Nishi-Shioko Revolving Stage. As a result, there were calls for the stage to be revived, and a Nishi-Shioko Revolving Stage Conservation Association was formed in the community. With the cooperation of a large number of people, and after overcoming several difficult hurdles, the stage was revived in 1997, after a gap of half a century. This guide contains a brief history of the stage, including the recent events up to the present day.
Now that you have been fortunate enough to find your way to these pages, we hope that you will enjoy seeing and reading about the revolving stage and its setting, the abundant satoyama [T1] (natural woodlands interspersed with small-scale farming) which is our hometown.
Mr. Masanori Namekawa
Hitachi Omiya City Information and Policy Department
Hitachi Omiya City History and Folk Custom Resource Centre
East Japan Railway Culture Foundation