Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Takahashi City , Okayama
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The Watari Byoshi of Bitchu-cho    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 46 minutes
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Autumn in Bitchu-cho, Takahashi City, is accentuated by the lively sound of kane (gongs) and taiko (drums). Yes, thats the watari byoshi! The watari byoshi dance is performed with the accompanying music for goshinko (the traveling of the symbol for the god) in each district parish for about 20 days from the beginning of November when the autumn harvest is finished. In this area, the phrase "gaku o utsu" (to dance with music) is expressed as "hyoshiuchi" or "gaku," and they are indispensable items for autumn festivals. It is said that it originated from the music played for the legendary victorious return of Empress Jingu (reigned 201-269 AD) from the successful invasion of three Korean kingdoms, or that it was the music played for the journey of the emissaries from Korea, visiting Japan to give tribute. Autumn in Bitchu-cho is really lively. Through the gallant dance of the watari byoshi with its 600 years of history, one can be sure to feel the grandeur of history.

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