Showing posts with label yudani. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yudani. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fall Colors walk: Yudani Gingko


Winter has arrived early this year, and with being extra busy and the Fall weather being wetter than usual I didnt get to do as much walking in November as I had hoped, but I did make a Fall Colors walk up the Yudani Valley that ends at the Gonokawa near Kawamoto and starts up near Mihara. First stop was this abandoned temple that I had hoped to explore inside of but it has already begun to collapse and their were construction workers there to stop me from entering a "dangerous" place....


Further up the valley a farmer had a grove of gingko trees and he was busy collecting the nuts from underneath...


Solitary gingkos in a background of green are perhaps the most typical image of fall colors round here for me...


I had been told that the huge gingko at the temple in Mitani was particularly spectacular but it had only just begun its metamorphosis from green to gold....


The shrine in Mihara.....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Month of Little Sleep part 10


On Sunday 21st October we went to the Omoto Matsuri up in the small settlement of Yudani. It is a small settlement, getting smaller. Only 34 households remain and they are mostly old folks...... there are no kids. The Omoto Matsuris only occur every 7 years and are expensive affairs and only 34 families are left to fund it. It ended up being a fantastic night with all the hallmarks of a true matsuri.... friendliness, generosity, inebriation, humor etc.... I shot over a thousand photos but choose just a handful.....


After the initial rituals and ceremonies the first kagura was Shihogatame, a dance unique to Omoto Kagura but which is similar to Kamimukae in regular Iwami kagura.


At a usual ceremony there may be half a dozen to a dozen offerings placed on the altar, but given the importance of Omoto rituals there will be anything from 30 to 50 different items....


Possibly my favorite Omoto kagura "dance" is Tengai, unique to Omoto. I have seen it performed by priests and also by kagura dancers, but in my experience it is the priests who put on a more dynamic dance.....


The Ebisu dance was unique, for me at least, in several respects. usually Ebisu dances alone, or sometimes with Daikoku, and its usually just a pantomime with him throwing candy to the crowd and then catching a Sea Bream. This was the "complete" Ebisu dance with the first part danced by a dancer as a priest, then with Ebisu, and then finally the "usual" Ebisu dance. usually the fish caught by Ebisu is made out of paper, but here they used the actual fish that had been on the altar as offering to Omoto.


At 6am the final ritual/dance took place and this is where possession, kamigakari, will take place, if it take place. The rope snake representing Omoto is swung violently backwards and forwards by the priests. To the rear you can see the villager who had been designated to be the recipient of possession. kamigakari did not occur.