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Ube City , Yamaguchi Related category:
The Taiju no Mai Dance - Iwato Kaguramai of Kusunoki-cho    



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Entire story: 28 minutes
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The Iwato kaguramai dance was started about 240 years ago in order to dedicate a performance to Oiseyama Kotai Jingu Shrine in Magura Futatsusaya, Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. It has been performed on the night of December 5 every year, taking about four hours. In this series of kaguramai (Shinto dances), 12 performances of ten different kinds of dance are performed to the accompaniment of gochosi bayashi played by taiko (drums), fue (flutes), and kane (gongs). First, kaguramai (Nos.1 - 3) and sanpo no mai are performed. Following the manipulation of the tengai hung from the ceiling, the sakaki no mai, hoko no mai, and tsurugi no mai dances are performed. Then, a norito (ritual prayer) is dedicated through the norito no mai dance, followed by three performances enacting the myth of ama no iwato, namely the iwato no mai, hime no mai, and oni no mai dances. Finally the event is concluded with the yumi no mai dance. The kaguramai dance of Magura Futatsusaya is performed within a narrow space of one meter by one meter square. For the Iwato kaguramai, the costume is rather simple. The characteristic of this areas kagura is said to be the fact that it includes many dances with torimono (things the performer carries in the hand while dancing), whereby it conveys excellently the authentic old style of dancing to the present day.

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