Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Itoigawa City , Niigata Related category:
Dance before the altar    

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Entire story: 38 minutes
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The Amatsu Jinja bugaku are traditional Japanese Court dances accompanied by music, which have been handed down in the Ichinomiya area in Itoigawa City and have been designated a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property. The dances are dedicated to the gods at the Spring Grand Festival of Amatsu Shrine on April 10-11 every year.
Although the origin of the dances is not certain, they are said to have been brought from Osaka Shitennoji Temple about 500 years ago, like the bugaku in Nou Hakusan Shrine, and to have formed a unique style in the area.
The bugaku consist of 12 numbers, including Enbu, Ama, Keikan, Bato, Hamayumi, Chigonasori, Nobato, Keko, Osonari, Taiheiraku, Kyuhoraku, Ryoo and they are also known popularly as "Chigo no Mai" (childrens dances).
In the Spring Grand Festival, the "Kenka Matsuri" Festival, where mikoshi (portable shrines) from the two areas hit and fight each other in praying for a good catch and a good harvest, is held prior to the bugaku. Thus the audience can enjoy two different worlds, one of valiant "movements" and the other of gorgeous "calm."

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