Monday, November 2, 2009

Miko-mai, or Miko Kagura

Today was the matsuri at Tsunozu. Last night was the all night kagura, but I was feeling a bit under the weather so didn't make it, but went there today to catch the mikoshi parade and the Miko mai.

Miko-mai is probably the most common and widely seen form of kagura in Japan, though its rare in my neighborhood. Most of the bigger shrines that have full-time staff and miko will perform it.

Here at Tsunozu the miko are 4 young elementary school girls. First the dance was performed inside the shrine at a ceremony for all the "leaders" of the village and matsuri. Later it was performed outside the shrine for all the assembled villagers.

Tsunozu really takes their matsuri seriously, with all the local kids getting the afternoon off school.

Unfortunately this year, just as the procession was beginning the heavens opened up and we were drenched in a downpour.

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