Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Tanabe City , Wakayama Related category:
Naginata Dancing in Heijigawa-The Bon Dance in Hongu Town, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture-    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 26 minutes
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Since olden days, many people have visited Kumano Hongu Grand Shrine in Kumano Sanzan. In Heijigawa area, a mountainous region nearby, the remnants of the Heishi clan, the losers in the "Gen-Pei War (1180-1185)" settled down. Although the settlers relocated to other places collectively later, their descendents have preserved "naginata dancing" in order to pray for their ancestral spirits. In 1973, the dance was designated as an intangible folklore cultural asset of Wakayama Prefecture. And the preserving society is playing a key role in its preservation. In dancing, the dancers hold naginata (a halberd-like weapon), wear red and white sashes, which represent the Genji and Heishi clans, and are accompanied by "a song," "a big drum," and "small drums." It's strange that they sing "Nasu no Yoichi Kudoki," which tells about a samurai soldier named Nasu no Yoichi, who was on the Genji's side.

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