Showing posts with label matsukawa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label matsukawa. Show all posts

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Month of Little Sleep part 7


Last saturday the villages of Matsukawa had their matsuris, so we started out in Tsuchi, home to one of the best kagura groups in the area, and the teachers of our own villages kagura group.


The night opened with a ceremonial dance, Suzu Kagura, bell kagura. I dont remember ever having seen it before, and the two main sources on Iwami Kagura in English dont mention it, but those books were based in Hiroshima and Masuda and so dont know much of the detail of kagura in our area. The name of the bells that are used are kagura suzu.


Next the kids performed Shiobarai, the dance that purifies the space. Like everything the Tsuchi group does it was tight and fast,,,,,


Next up, Iwato, and while I find it one of the less interesting dances a few moments in this performance grabbed my attention, like when Tajikarao did some wild leaps in front of the cave.......


Around midnight we headed down the valley to the Suwa Shrine in the village of Kamikawado,... not so much a village rather a collection of farms strung along a narrow valley. The village doesnt have a kagura group so our villages were performing here...... Iwato, one more time.....


And one more stop on our way home at the shrine in Ichimura where the dance Yamato Takeru was underway. Ive always found this dance strange because it celebrates the defeat of local leaders by the Yamato, kind of like Native Americans or the Welsh celebrating their subjugation. So deeply has the national identity overidden local, tribal identities....

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.