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Hirado City , Nagasaki Related category:
The Bon Gorei of Takushima Island    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 58 minutes
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The Bon Gorei of Takushima Island is a folkloric performing art that has been passed down in Takushima-cho, Hirado City, Nagasaki Prefecture. It is said that it was first performed in 1670, in order to pray for the island peoples welfare, a good harvest and a good fish catch. On July 16 according to the lunar calendar, more than 200 people are divided into groups of nobori-gumi (banner group), bo-gumi (bar group), sukoodori-gumi (suko dance group), yakkoodori-gumi (yakko dance group), and koodori-gumi (childrens dance group) and imitating the form of a feudal lords procession, they dedicate the dance chiefly to the shrines and temples in the island. The nobori (banner) is a symbol of the bon gorei and is thought to be a sacred object wherein the spirit of the god resides. The performance of the nobori, such as fukiwatashi and sakaokoshi, is thought to indicate the fortune for the coming year, and therefore the strength and the skill of the young noborisashi (banner handling) performers is counted on in earnest. It is rare to see a folkloric art kept in such an original condition even in Nagasaki Prefecture where many folkloric performing arts have been preserved.

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