Monday, November 2, 2009

Miko-mai, or Miko Kagura



Today was the matsuri at Tsunozu. Last night was the all night kagura, but I was feeling a bit under the weather so didn't make it, but went there today to catch the mikoshi parade and the Miko mai.

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Miko-mai is probably the most common and widely seen form of kagura in Japan, though its rare in my neighborhood. Most of the bigger shrines that have full-time staff and miko will perform it.

miko2

Here at Tsunozu the miko are 4 young elementary school girls. First the dance was performed inside the shrine at a ceremony for all the "leaders" of the village and matsuri. Later it was performed outside the shrine for all the assembled villagers.

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Tsunozu really takes their matsuri seriously, with all the local kids getting the afternoon off school.

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Unfortunately this year, just as the procession was beginning the heavens opened up and we were drenched in a downpour.

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