Showing posts with label taiko. Show all posts
Showing posts with label taiko. Show all posts

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October means Matsuri. Matsuri means Kagura. Part 2


For our next matsuri we headed up into the mountains to Mizuho, near the border with Hiroshima. Sekai Daijingu is a "New Religion", an offshoot of Omottokyo, and the head shrine is here in Iwami.


I don't know a lot about this religion, but one of the priests spent an hour chatting with me and the 2 points he stressed were that the kami worshipped are the "old" kami of Japan, the Sun, Moon, and Earth, and he stressed a disassociation from Shinto which he considered a version of the State Shinto which he linked strongly to the war.


Unlike a usual matsuri, here there were many groups each dancing once. The first up was Miho Kagura Dan, from northern Hiroshima. Hiroshima Kagura developed out of Iwami Kagura, but the costumes are a little different, and for the "good guys" Hiroshima Kagura doesnt use masks but make-up.


The dance they performed was Akko Den, another name for Kurozuka, a famous story taken from the Noh repertoire.


Its a popular dance especially among kids as it involves an evil white fox that devours people.


The dance involves several mask and costume changes as the fox transforms from its human form as a beautiful woman into its true form.

Before the kagura began there was a performance of a Taiko group from Oda.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ways to play the Taiko

There are many different ways to play the Taiko, the Japanese big drum.


You can play it while seated.


Sometimes you might need to stand.


Some choose to sit on it.


You can play in a line with friends.


You can even play it with your child asleep upon your lap.

All the photos are from the Kawamoto Matsuri 5 years ago.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rice Planting!.... the musical!

The third post on the Tauebayashi Matsuri we went to on Sunday. This time a look at the musicians who play the worksong during the rice planting.


This character has no name, though he is wearing a Hyottoko mask. He keeps time for the music with a pair of small "changara", which is the local name for small hand cymbals.


There is a single flute player in the ensemble, and a group of 3 kodaiko players. The kodaiko is carried vertically and only the top is hit.


There is one player of the dora, a kind of bell/gong.


Most of the musicians play the okedo taiko, and it provides the meat of the sound. It is carried horizontally and both heads are struck.


For the first half of the planting the music was performed by the childrens ensemble, playing a smaller okedo taiko.


A short video of the lead singer.