Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Yokote City , Akita
Related category:
Local Performing Arts of Tonami    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 47 minutes
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The Tonami Local Performing Arts Preservation Society has been endeavoring to preserve and hand down the Gion-bayashi, Kitsune-bayashi and Kusa-ondo dances, which have been inherited from the past in the Tonami area. It has been said that the Gion-bayashi and Kitsune-bayashi were taught by Chishima (or Tsushima) Kenmotsu, a masterless samurai from Kaga Province (present Ishikawa prefecture) during the Genroku period (1688-1704), and were first performed to celebrate the reconstruction of the Yakushido, the tutelar shrine of Tonami village. After that, the dances had been performed in the Yakushido until the end of the Meiji Period 1868-1912, and then in a temporary theater set up on the village common. Kusa-ondo is said to have originated from the Nenbutsu-odori of Tonami village. When doing a Bon-odori (Bon dance) became popular in the area, this dance was taken up as the Bon dance. It was discontinued around 1935 but then restarted in 1942 at Minasegawara in order to pray for the ancestors souls, encourage a fighting spirit, and to pray for victory in the war.

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