Friday, October 15, 2010
On Wednesday night we headed to the Hachimangu shrine in Uyagawa, a village on the coast between Gotsu and Hamada. I'd never been to thye matsuri here before and so didn't know what to expect. What we found was quite a big matsuri with 3 or 4 stalls by vendors from outside the village, so it was more like a town matsuri.
The shrine did have a big kagura-den, but the village has no kagura group so the Otani group from Hamada were invited to play.
The first dance we saw was Yumi Hachiman, starring the kami of all Hachiman shrines, equated with mythical/legendary Emperor Ojin. Some groups have him dancing with an aide, but here he was alone to fight the flying buddhist demon from the sixth level of hell.
Hachiman is associated with archery, and the demon is dispatched by arrows.
In previous posts I have written about all these dances, so if you want to know more just enter the dance title in the search box or click on the tag links to find more info.
The next dance up was Yasogami, the story of Okuninushi and his "80" brothers, who are pissed off that the beautiful Princess Yakami refuses their advances and instead chooses to marry Okuninushi.
In this version the 80 brothers are represented by just one on stage, and are made to appear rather dumb and dorky through comedy and pantomime. At one point the brother spends a good minute or 2 picking his nose and then flicking it into the audience.