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~Past Event ~
2007 Information

Higo Chonkake Goma by Kazuhito Miki

(Photo courtesy of Miki-san)

About Higo Chonkake Goma

The Higo Chonkake Goma is designated an intangible folk cultural asset by Kumamoto City. It is a top (koma) performance begun about 400 years ago in the Higo region (present day Kumamoto) of Japan. The origin is believed to be from Indonesia. The performance is conducted using a colorful top (koma) approximately 12cm in diameter. The top is spun by a single cord. The top's rotational speed is accelerated by its weight and the friction of the cord, while a variety of complex mid-air tricks are performed. Some 20 tricks can be done, such as making the top climb the length of the cord.

Mr. Kazuhito Miki - Profile
Mr. Kazuhito Miki from Hyogo Prefecture became acquainted with a colleague who was a famed performer of Higo Chonkake Goma while assigned to Self Defense Force duty in Kumamoto City. Miki-san learned the techniques of top performance from him.

Following reassignment to Itami City in Hyogo, he experienced the damage and suffering as a result of the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake that occurred in 1995. Following the earthquake, he began to visit nursery and elementary schools whose children had been adversely affected by the earthquake. The Higo Chonkake Goma performances were conducted to console them. To date, he has visited approximately 200 schools for that purpose. Since retiring from the Self Defense Forces in 2001, Miki-san has continued to give his top performance as a volunteer.

On stage at 2007 Aki Matsuri, Miki-san performed his splendid feat using a top and cord while being accompaniment by his wife playing shamisen.

(Photo courtesy of Miki-san)

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