Demons, maidens, and a traditional local dance with lively music to give thanks to the gods
The Shonai Kagura is a traditional dance performed regularly in the town of Shonai, Oita. The dance is part of the yearly Shonai Festival, which began in 1990 and is held on November 3. This festival is a celebration of the local culture and is a way for the people of Shonai to give thanks to the gods.
One of the highlights of the Shonai Kagura is the sound of whistles and drums played in a fast, lively rhythm by 12 groups. These instruments create a vibrant and energetic atmosphere that adds to the excitement of the festival. The dancers wear traditional costumes and perform sacred dances called Fukayama-ryu kagura and Inuyama-ryu kagura. These dances are performed by one of two kagura schools, Shonai and Asono.
The Shonai Kagura has a long history and has been practiced for more than 200 years. It is believed to have originated in 1778 as an offering from the local shrine priests to the gods. Over the years, the dance has evolved and has become one of the most famous kagura dances in japan.
Kagura is a dance form that tells stories through movement and music. It is a way for the performers to communicate with the gods and convey their prayers and wishes. The Shonai Kagura is known for its lively and energetic performances, which captivate the audience and create a festive atmosphere.
During the Shonai Festival, there are many different performances by the 12 kagura groups. Each group has their own unique style and repertoire of dances, which adds to the variety and excitement of the festival. In addition to the professional dancers, schoolchildren also participate in the festival, showcasing their talent and dedication to the art form.
The festival is not only a celebration of dance and music but also an opportunity to experience the local culture of Shonai. Visitors can witness the traditional performances and immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere of the festival. They can also try local foods and drinks, shop for traditional crafts and souvenirs, and interact with the locals, who are known for their warm hospitality.
To get to the festival, visitors can take a train to Onoya Station and then a short taxi ride to Kagura-den, where the festival is held. Onoya Station is accessible on the JR Kyudai main line from Oita, Yufuin, and other major cities. The location of the festival is easily accessible, making it convenient for both locals and tourists to attend.
In conclusion, the Shonai Kagura is a traditional dance that is performed regularly in the town of Shonai, Oita. It is part of the yearly Shonai Festival, which is held on November 3. The dance is known for its lively music, vibrant costumes, and energetic performances. It is a way for the people of Shonai to give thanks to the gods and celebrate their local culture. The festival is not only a showcase of dance and music but also an opportunity to experience the warm hospitality of the locals and immerse oneself in the lively atmosphere of the festival. It is a must-see event for anyone interested in traditional Japanese culture and a unique way to celebrate the autumn season.
Address And Maps Location:
1400 Shonaicho Otatsu, Yufu-shi, Oita-ken