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Tosu City , Saga Related category:
To the future after the passage of eternal time. Onta mai dance of Azumaya Shrine    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 34 minutes
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This dance belongs to a kind of Otauesai or rice-planting rite, and various tasks of rice-planting are reproduced as performance art. It used to be dedicated in Shinkou-sai festival on April 1 of Azumaya Shrine of Yabu-gun Sosha, but presently it becomes an autumn event, and is held on the precincts of Oimatsu Shrine of Kuranoue-cho, Tosu City on Sunday around October 20 every year.

The Onta mai dance is performed by a total of more than 30 men who are Osa (Chief), Za-bugyos (court magistrates), Iitate (pleader), Tanemaki (seed sewer), Shirofumi (puddling treader), Todo (paddy field children), Tauchi (tilling persons), Oni (ogres), Tsuzumi (hand-drummers), Taiko (drummers), Sakibarai (forerunners), and Tesuki (chanters), and Iitate, Tauchi, Tanemaki, Shirofumi, Oni, and Amefuri (rain falling) perform dances in that order. The movement of Tauchi who carry a wooden hoe, the elegant dance of Shirofumi who carries a puddling and leveling rod, nave gestures of Todo in the outfits of rice-planting girls, the gallant dance of oni and others indicate that the Onta mai dance is precious as a traditional rice-planting dance.

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