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Japan marks 75 years of Vatican ties with Noh theater show

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/25/2017
Japanese actor Kazufusa Hosho, impersonating Okina, performs during a traditional Noh theater representation, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) © The Associated Press Japanese actor Kazufusa Hosho, impersonating Okina, performs during a traditional Noh theater representation, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

ROME (AP) — Japan has marked the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties with the Holy See with a performance of ancient traditional Noh theater in Rome.

Japanese actor Sengoro Shigeyama, impersonating Sanba-so, performs during a traditional Noh theater representation, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) © The Associated Press Japanese actor Sengoro Shigeyama, impersonating Sanba-so, performs during a traditional Noh theater representation, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

At the performance Saturday in Rome at the Palazzo della Cancelleria, a Renaissance architectural masterpiece housing Vatican tribunals, visitors were shown how to wear a Noh theater mask.

Japanese actor Sengoro Shigeyama, impersonating Sanba-so, performs during a traditional Noh teater representation, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) © The Associated Press Japanese actor Sengoro Shigeyama, impersonating Sanba-so, performs during a traditional Noh teater representation, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Japan's ambassador to the Vatican, Yoshio Matthew Nakamura, says Noh theater absorbs cultural elements from various countries and civilizations.

Kimonos and a mask of the traditional Noh theater are displayed on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) © The Associated Press Kimonos and a mask of the traditional Noh theater are displayed on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Japan has been a strong admirer of Vatican artistic treasures. Decades ago, Japanese television sponsored the restoration of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, which was frescoed by Michelangelo.

Japanese actor Kazufusa Hosho, impersonating Okina, performs during a traditional Noh theater representation, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) © The Associated Press Japanese actor Kazufusa Hosho, impersonating Okina, performs during a traditional Noh theater representation, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Presenting his diplomatic credentials last year to Pope Francis, Nakamura gave him binoculars "to see the lives of people in the periphery," an area where Francis says the church must pay more attention.

Japanese actor Kazufusa Hosho, impersonating Okina, performs during a traditional Noh theater representation, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Japanese actor Kazufusa Hosho, impersonating Okina, performs during a traditional Noh theater representation, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Japan, in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
© The Associated Press
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