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Ayagawa-cho , Kagawa
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Nenbutsu Odori dance of Takinomiya    

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The origin of the Takinomiya Nenbutsu Odori dance held on August 25 every year at Takinomiya, Ayagawa-cho is said to go back to the 4th year of the Ninwa era (888). The legend goes that when Sanuki Province was hit by an extensive drought, Sugawara no Michizane, the then kokushi or Provincial Governor, held a rain-making ritual in Shiroyama (present Sakaide City) for seven days and seven nights. On the day of mangan or the completion of the vow, a heavy rain fell on the earth and people started dancing in joy at Gozutennosha Shrine (present Takinomiya Shrine).
When the people later heard that Lord Michizane had died in Tsukushi Province, they put up Tenmangu Shrine in memory of him and began a custom to dance in front of its altar to console the soul of Lord Michizane. In addition, it is said that Honenshonin (1133-1212), the founder of Jodoshu sect, who had been exiled to Sanuki Province, choreographed the dance with nenbutsu (Buddhist invocation), creating the foundation of the present nenbutsu odori dance.
This dance was designated a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 1987.

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