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Iwami Kagura, the world of Japanese Mythology & 2019 Performance Schedule

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Iwami Kagura

Amongst famous Japanese traditional performing arts like Kabuki and Noh, Kagura is the oldest with its origin in ancient Japanese mythology. It was originally offered to shinto deities to welcome and entertain them and performed only by shinto priests and miko at shinto shrines thanking and praying for abundant crop and bumper, however, it has become widely common for the public to be enjoyed with. 

Especially in western Shimane, which is referred to as the Iwami region,  it is called “Iwami Kagura” and very popular for containing entertaining features, such as the use of sound and visual effects so that the performance can be better understood for the audience.

 

 

The series of performances usually start with a ritualistic dance to welcome the deities, and then entertaining performances follows.  Performers dressed up in gorgeous costumes dance to the rhythmical sounds made by traditional Japanese instruments.

There are varieties of about thirty programs, and performers play deities, demons, and sometimes humans who appear in ancient Japanese mythology. Among them, “Orochi” can be said as the most popular. This program is about a heroic deity Susano-o slaying an evil serpent called Yamata-no-orochi and save Princes Inada. The serpent had eight heads and eight tails and its body was long enough to cover eight peaks and valleys.

Umi Kagura

This is the special version of Kagura, which is performed on the beach. It is called “Umi (the Sea) Kagura” and take place on August 13th every year. The highlight of the day comes along the dark when they dance with the setting sun on their back. Bonfires are lit, and it makes the ritual dances even more mysterious.  

 

kagura Orochi (photo contest)

 

 

Where you can enjoy Iwami Kagura casually

==Regular Schedule from April 2019== *Please refer the map below

 Oda City 

1.  Tatsuno-gozen-jinja Shrine (Yunotsu Onsen) [map]
Dates and times : 8pm~9pm, Every Saturday
Admission Fee : 1000 JPY (Junior High School and under get in for free)

 Gotsu City 

2.  Yunomachi-Kaguraden (Arifuku Onsen) [map]
Dates and times :
[Apr.] 13, 27
[May] 4, 25
[Jun.] 22
[Jul.] 13, 27
[Aug.] 10
[Sep.] 14, 21
[Nov.] 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
[Dec.] 14
[Jan. 2020] 11
[Feb. 2020] 8
[Mar. 2020] 21
8:30pm ~ 9:30pm
 
Admission Fee: 500 JPY

3.  PALETTE Gotsu [map]
Dates and times: 2nd Sunday of every month, including 4/28 and 6/8. No performances in October and November.
[First show] 10:30am ~ 11:30am
[Second Show] 1:00pm ~2:00pm
Admission Fee: 500 JPY (Junior High School and under get in for free)

 Hamada City 

4A.  Sanku Shrine [map]
Dates and times: 8pm~9pm, Every Saturday  *special performances may go until 11:30 pm
Admission Fee: 700 JPY  *Special Performances: 1,000 JPY

4B.  Asahi-so (Asahi Onsen)  [map]
Dates and times: 8:30pm~, Every Saturday between Sep. 9 – Nov.18)
Admission Fee: 500 JPY (Junior High School and under get in for free)

5.  AQUAS Hasshi Square  [map]
Dates and times: 1pm~3pm, Every Sunday in Mar to beg. of Nov. and National Holidays (Apr.to Nov.)
Admission : Free of Charge

6.  Road Station Yuhi Park Hamada  [map]
Dates and times : 1pm~3pm, 2nd Sunday of every month
Admission : Free of Charge

 Masuda City 

7.  Masuda EAGA Building  [map]
Dates and times : 7:30pm~9pm, Every Saturday (except Sep. to Dec.),  no performances during Aug. 13-15
Admission Fee: 500 JPY (Junior High School and under get in for free)

 Tsuwano Town 

8.  Road Station Nagomi-no-sato (Tsuwano Onsen)  [map]
Dates and times: 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month
[First Show] 11am ~
[Second Show] 2pm ~
Admission Fee: Free of Charge

9.  Taikodani Inari Shrine  [map]
Dates and times : 8pm~9:10pm, Every Saturday (Aug. to Sep.), Special Performance days
Admission Fee : 500 JPY (Junior High School and under get in for free)

 

==Iwami Kagura Venues==

kagura_schedule2017

 

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