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Suzaka City , Nagano Related category:
Ritual of Nirei-machi Takahito Shrine    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 44 minutes
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The ritual of Nirei-machi Takahito Shrine is said to have started in 1782, and the “kagura lion dancing” performed therein is said to date back to the time when a conflict arose between the residents of “the Kusatsu Way” area and “the Ozasa Way” area, and the village officers gave both sides the instruments for lion dancing in order to settle the conflict. As one of the main events in the ritual, 2 parades of kagura dancing, one from Tochiguchi area and the other from Seni area, march toward Takahito Shrine in order to dedicate the performance there. The parades are composed of “jusan-torou (13 lanterns),” “kasahoko (decorated umbrella),” “kagura dashi (kagura float),” “dochu-hayashi (parade musical accompaniments),” “dengaku dorou (dengaku lantern),” and so on. The 2 parades join together at Tokiwa area, and arrive at the shrine. Within its precinct, “shishi-kagura (kagura lion dancing)” is dedicated. With the “main festival” to be held on the following day, the kagura lion dancing is dedicated in the same manner after the parades are completed, and children carry a portable shrine, or perform lion dances. They are expected to inherit and pass down this tradition to the next generations.

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