Friday, January 23, 2009

Iwaishima kagura

This short video is of a kagura performance on the small island of Iwaishima, or as some people say, Iwaijima, off the southern coast of Yamaguchi.

If you compare it to some of the other videos of Iwami Kagura, you will see some differences.

The music is different, and the costumes are much simpler.


This is the first dance of 33 that were performed over a 3 day period as part of Kannmai Matsuri held every 5 years.

The opening dance features Kojin, the local kami of the island, though the mask look a lot like a Tengu, or even Sarutahiko.

Kojin is equivalent to the kami Omoto in my area, and is known as an Aragami, "rough kami", though I prefer turbulent kami. In this dance the priest pacifies Kojin.


The kagura dances are performed in a temporary structure with grass roof and walls erected near the harbor


The priests come from northern Kyushu, which has its own kagura traditions, so I don't know whether these performances are from that tradition or the southern Yamaguchi kagura tradition.

The masks are wooden, and so are simpler than Iwami Kagura masks.



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