Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Month of Little Sleep part 9


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Past midnight and the inevitable Iwato was performed. It is one of my least favorite dances, but the last sequence after Amaterasu has been brought out of the cave and the assembled kami celebrate is performed with gusto by 8-beat groups such as Tanijyugo, and it gets quite frenetic with much leaping about.

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Then onto Jinrin with the usual spectacular demons entrance.....

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Next up was a rare performance of Benkei & Yoshitsune. Benkei, the legendary and archetypal sohei (warrior monk) is waiting on Gojo bridge in Kyoto to challenge the next samurai who passes. he has done this successfully 99 times. A slight, young Yoshitsune comes along.

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Yoshitsune had been trained in swordsmanship by a tengu in the mountains north of kyoto, and his acrobatic skill is too much for Benkei who after being defeated becomes Yoshitsunes lifelong loyal vassal.... a very similar story to Robin Hood and Little John....

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next dance was Tenjin, the first time I had seen the dance this season. Sugawara Michizane, the hero,, deified as Tenjin, wears a mask uncannily like the Guy Fawkes mask in V for Vendetta, takes on his arch-enemy Fujiwara no Tokihira.

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It was 2:30am, still 4 more hours of kagura to go, but I left to grab some sleep as the next day there was an all night Omoto Matsuri up in the mountains and I wanted to stay all night for that....


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