Showing posts with label oeyama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oeyama. Show all posts

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Month of Little Sleep part 4


Around 2:30am the kagura group took a break, something I have never seen before. I suspect that as the village has shrunk, so has the kagura group, and fewer members means each must do more and therefore not get any breaks during the long night. The audience took the opportunity to pull out some food and spread out... All night long Mr Yama operating the barbecue grill outside had been passing free food into us.... fried noodles, barbecued squid, barbecued crab legs..... along with copious amounts of cold beer and sake, so we were full but could not refuse the offers from different groups in the audience who insisted we join them and share their food....this, for me, is the essence of matsuri....


After the break the action started up  with the Oeyama dance with lots of demons including the favorite of the audience, a junior demon...


The spiders web trapped the hero but he was of course able to free himself and kill the demon...


next up was Iwato, usually one of the first dances at a matsuri....


And then Ebisu, ably assisted by junior Ebisu, distributing lucky candy to everyone in the audience...


The penultimate dance was Shoki.......


Outside the sky was lightening and more people had been arriving...... in the countryside people get up at 5... and so it was time for the finale, Susano's battle with the multiheaded Orochi.... It was a small kagura group, so there were only four heads to the serpent, but even so they took all the dance space and spilled out into the audience. An exciting end to a great night..... time to go home to bed and rest up..... in 3 days it would be an Omoto Matsuri up in Nakano....

Friday, June 29, 2012

Kanzui Matsuri part 8


This is the second half of a post on the Oeyama dance as performed at last years matsuri up in Kanzui, The first half can be found here.

The group of heroes dressed as yamabushi find their way to the demons lair and after convincing the demons that they are real yamabushi are invited to spend the night,


There are 4 heroes, and the boss demon and three aides, so a total of 8 dancers packed into the tiny performance space. The king of the demons is distinguished by his oversized mask.


The heroes share the drugged sake with the demons and when they are drunk the fighting begins, each hero putting paid to one demon.

The final scene is when the king demon is confronted by the main hero. But the demon has a trick up his sleeve,..... a demon spider....

I had not seen the spiderweb and spider used in the Oeyama dance before...


The hero of course defeats the spider and the demon and so the world is once again safe.....

It was now 3:30 am and the kagura would be going on for another 3 hours but I left as I felt I neede to put in an appearance at my own villages matsuri which was also being held this night....

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kanzui Matsuri 7


The next dance at last years all-night matsuri in Kanzui was Oeyama, a big production with an unusually large cast for a kagura dance so I will split it into two posts. the story is based on a Noh play of the same name which itself was based on a story in the Heike Monogatari. In the first scene the hero, Minamoto Yorimitsu, and an aide leave Kyoto on a mission to destroy demons that have been kidnapping and eating young women.  On the way they meet a tengu/yamabushi who tells them that the demon will not harm yamabushi so they should discard their armor and wear the garb of mountain priests. the tengu also gives them some drugged sake that will disable demons but not affect humans.

The next scene introduces a villager who works in the mountains as a woodsman.


The next scene introduces a princess who is found in the mountains washing bloodstained clothes in a stream. She was captured by the demons but her flesh was too tough and bones too large to be eaten so the demons kept her as a laundry maid.


She promises to guide them, now dressed as yamabushi, to the demons lair on Mount Oeyama.