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Marumori-machi , Miyagi Related category:
The Land of Igu where the Gods Dance - Zao Yamabushi Kagura    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 27 minutes
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This film introduces the Shugen Kagura dance which has been handed down in Ouchi, Marumori-machi from ancient times. According to tradition, this Kagura dance was started 1200 years ago by Enno Ozunu, a high priest of Shugendo (ascetic practices), in Mt. Chokai in the old Dewa Province (present Yamagata and Akita prefectures), as a prayer for the peace and security of the nation, good harvests, and the expulsion of illnesses. This dance is said to have been introduced to this area during the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) in the hope of expelling illnesses. The dance is still performed in the back parlors of private houses upon request as a way of driving away evil spirits on January 14. The film records an actual performance and explains the origin of the Kagura and the meaning of the dance, as well as the relationship between the Shugen or Yamabushi (warrior priests) and the local inhabitants, both of whom have kept the Kagura dance going over the years.

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