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Ami Machi , Ibaraki Related category:
An intangible folk performing art cultural asset designated by Ami Machi Kimijima Hyottoko    



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Entire story: 73 minutes
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"Kimijima Hyottoko" is a traditional performing art passed down in the Kimijima region in Ami Machi, Ibaraki Prefecture. The origin of this performance is said to date back approximately 150 years, when, in 1851, an epidemic struck the region taking the lives of around a dozen children. It is said that the epidemic ended when the god of Yasaka Shrine in Owari was enshrined.
"Kimijima Hyottoko" is said to have been first performed at the festival celebrating the end of the epidemic when a young man learned how to play drums, bells, and the flute from people from the former Edosaki (now Inashiki City). In 1968, the "Kimijima Traditional Art Preservation Association" was formed, and "Kimijima Hyottoko" was included as one of Ami Machis "intangible cultural assets" in 1987.
"Kimijima Hyottoko" consists of the 5 different dances: the "Shisi odori" (lions dance, which prays for good health and bountiful harvests), the "Kitsune odori" (foxs dance, which prays for good health), "Okame odori" (womans dance, which prays for peace within households), the "Hyottoko odori" (mans dance, which prays for bountiful harvests), and "Genta odori" (Genta dance), each of which is performed for the realization of a prayer.

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