Thursday, October 22, 2009

October means Matsuri. Matsuri means Kagura. Part 6


We headed downriver to Matsukawa, the village of Oda, who have their matsuri during the daytime.


The village no longer has its own kagura group, so Kamiko Kagura group from Hamada were playing.


The dance being performed when we arrived was Gojin, concerning the 5 elements played out as 5 kami with territorial disputes. One of the kami is a buffoon, seen here with a long trail of green snot hanging from his nose. The group leader told us that Gojin was traditionally the final dance in a kagura performance, but nowadays the finale is usually Yamata no Orochi, as it was today.

It was a really great performance of the dance, unusually with all 8 serpents. It's one thing to see this dance performed on a stage, quite another to literally have it in your face. This first video shows some of the choreoraphed dance of the 8 snakes. As far as I know there is nothing else like this anywhere else in japan. If anyone has seen anything like this, please let me know.

This next video shows Susano battling the serpents. At one point he seems to be overpowered, but fear not, he triumphs.


2 of the heads of the serpent were laid right at our feet.


  1. i love this blog. i check it everyday to see what shows up next.

    plus im reading unfamiliar glimpses of japan and the inland sea right now.

    i get lost looking at all your pictures and i this i can't get enough of.

  2. this is an EXCELLENT blog! your photography and insights into the lesser-seen aspects of Japan are wonderful ^.^