Sunday, August 30, 2009

2009 Ichiyama Kids kagura festival

We went over to Ichiyama last night for the annual Kids Kagura Festival. Each year there are fewer and fewer kids performing. Partly thats due to the village losing population to the cities, but a friend suggested that because Ichiyama still dances the older, slower 6-beat style that some kids from the village dance with other groups that dance the more exciting 8-beat. I think it is due to the commitments that Japanese kids have to their school clubs and brutal exam system. Japanese kids get very little free time nowadays.


The video is from the Iwato dance. Koyane, mythical ancestor of the Nakatomi, who became the Fujiwara, and Futotama, mythical ancestor of the Imbe Clan, perform rituals, unsuccessfully, to entice Amaterasu out of the cave.


Uzume's dance, considered to be the mythical origin of all kagura, is successful in enticing the hidden sun out of her cave.


The arrival of the demon,... here in the Hachiman dance, is always fun!


As usual we had a very enjoyable time.


  1. Beautiful photos, the contrast, colour and details work perfectly. The show looks fantastic. thanks for sharing. ash

  2. Thanks for sharing. I hope that this isn't another cultural victim of modernization. It would be bad if Japanese got so busy that they abandoned a lot of the traditions that make them such a great country.