Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Kamikawachi-cho , Tochigi Related category:
Tenkaichi Kampaku Kami Shishimai dance    

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Entire story: 28 minutes
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The Tenkaichi Kampaku Kami Shishimai dance, an Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Tochigi Prefecture, is a festival of 1100 years standing that is thought to be the origin of the Kampaku-style shishimai dance, which has spread widely in the prefecture. It is performed by the local preservation society on the first Saturday of August every year.
The legend goes that on the occasion of Fujiwara Toshihito suddenly passing away in the Heian period (794-1192), the weather became unsettled, preventing his funeral being held, and when they had performers dance wearing Onkamishishi head-gear, the three different types of gear being carved into the form of kirin (a mythical beast) of heaven, earth, and the human world, the weather subsided. According to legend, it has been performed from 912 (the 12th year of the Engi era) till present.
For such a performance, two male lions and a female lion dance on a stage that is created by making a nine shaku (approx. 2.7m) square with shimenawa or sacred straw rope and scattering it with rice chaff. The shishimai dances begin after children pay respect to the gods and seven numbers are performed, including the Hiraniwa,
Makiyose, Todo no Mai, Yumikuguri, Shihogatame, Shibakakushi, and Mikomai (Onitaiji) dances.
Mikomai, also called Onitaiji no Mai (the dance of conquering the demon) and only played by Kampaku Shishimai,
has a very dramatic composition that is not seen in any other style of shishimai performed in the prefecture.

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