Hayachine Kagura Troupe

Japan



Inscribed in 2009 and on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Hayachine Take Kagura presents the tradition of folk performance that started in Iwate Prefecture in the northern part of mainland Japan. The performance is part of worshipping rituals. It Kagura is a series of masked dances accompanied by drum, cymbals and flute: six ritual dances begin the performance; five dances recount stories of the deities and medieval Japanese history, and a final dance features a performer dressed as a ''shishi,'' an imaginary lion-like creature representing the Hayachine deity himself. These dances enliven the Great Festival of the Hayachine Shrine held in Hanamaki City on the first day of August. Hayachine Kagura is now performed by representatives of the entire community, who take pride in their distinctive culture. To transmit and display the ritual is to reconfirm a sense of identity within the group and to contribute to the continuity of an important tradition.



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