RELIGION

Japan marks 75 years of Vatican ties with Noh theater show

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

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.

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

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.

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.