Regional Cultural Asset Portal

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Hirado City , Nagasaki Related category:
Suko Dancing of Oshima Island (Selective Intangible Folklore Cultural Asset of Nation)    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 210 minutes
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Suko Dancing of the Oshima Island is dedicated and opened to the public during the Bon festival every year. In 1574, the castle of the Hirai clan, situated in current Shiraishi Town of Saga Prefecture, fell to the enemy, and the defeated Hirai family escaped to the island, where they are said to have started this dance, remembering their prosperous days. In the dance version of the Oshima Island, the performers wear white unlined kimono, stiff sash, sandals and sedge hats, and carry a folding fan or a flute, dancing in a circle. In the version of Konoura area, the kimono performers’ wears are not white. In both the 2 versions, they dance very slowly, in order to console the souls of the ancestors. This dancing has a long history. Some say that it’s a type of performing art derived from Buddhist prayers and introduced to this region.
Primary school children accompany the dancing squads and perform “Hanazue (a dance performed by dancers holding a stick with paper flowers on both ends).” They practice the dance in their dance master’s house called “mosho.” “Ryugi” is a dance performed by youngsters carrying a stick, sword, sickle, or the like. The actual performance is given during the Bon period, from early in the morning on August 14th till August 15th around midnight, at various places before being dedicated, such as shrines, temples, or homes where the family is observing the first o-bon following the death of their member.

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