Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Obira-cho , Hokkaido Related category:
Onishika Matsumae Kagura    

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Entire story: 135 minutes
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Matsumae Kagura is a Shinto ritual performing art. According to Matsumae town history, it is said that the kagura was started as a Shinto ritual practiced inside the castle of the Matsumae clan in 1674.

Onishika Matsumae Kagura is said to have been presented by Benzo Takigawa, memory keeper, in 1901, and when herring fishing was in season, kagura performers were invited by the fishermens bosses of herring fishing grounds, for spectacular New Years Day kagura and kadobarai (gate purification) ceremonies to be performed. As herring catches decreased, kagura also once dwindled, but the momentum to pass down the traditional culture increased. In 1975, a preservation association was organized and in 1989, the kagura was designated as one of the Obira-cho intangible cultural assets. (Event-holding date: Last Sunday of May)

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