Saturday, October 25, 2008

Demon's entrance




Continuing with some videos of kagura performed by my neighbors at the village's annual matsuri.

It's usually dramatic when an Oni (demon/ogre) makes it's appearance on the stage. In this sequence Hachiman, the God of war based on the semi-mythical Emperor Ojin, is dancing alone on the stage. Amid clouds of smoke and brandishing a firework, the demon arrives and begins the battle with Hachiman. Good versus Evil, and Good of course wins.

Though a traditional folk art, Iwami kagura is notable for having adapted over time. Smoke machines and fireworks were first used at a performance of Iwami Kagura at the World Expo held in Osaka in 1970. Now their use has spread and most kagura groups utilize the technology. Radio mikes are now also standard equipment.

Tanijyugo kagura group dance in the 8-beat style.

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