Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Minami Satsuma City , Kagoshima
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Takahashi Juhachido Odori Dance    

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Entire story: 53 minutes
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On August 22 every year, this dance is performed in the Hitchindon Matsuri (a festival for the water god), in order to pray that children should not come to harm in rivers or the sea. Young men impersonating ogarappa (big water imps) wearing masks made of palm tree leaves and dressed in nightclothes and nightwear, head for Tamate Shrine from the community hall. In villages and shrines, they tease children and spectators with bamboo grass. When they see small children, they catch them and put each in a woven bag. Yokkabui is a water god who is said to live in Hori River, a branch of the Manose River. This festival has been carried on for more than 300 years, as a prayer for a good harvest and for the prevention of water accidents. "Yokkabui" is a dialect word meaning "wearing bedclothes" and it has now come to mean the young men who disguise themselves as kappa (water imps) and to be the name of the festival itself.

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