Shimane’s traditions and cultures were developed long ago and are still present in people’s daily life. Kagura, a ritual performance, was originally performed at shrines to appreciate the blessings of the gods and nature. Today it has gained popularity with audiences of all ages and is performed not only in Japan but also outside Japan. Sada Shin Noh, a sacred dance performed at Sada Shrine in Matsue is said to be the origin of Izumo style Kagura and is a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Another UNESCO intangible heritage is Sekishu Banshi which is one of the Japanese papermaking technologies that have been handed down from generation to generation. Such traditions with a deep and long history can be found all around Shimane, and tourists can even participate and experience these traditions for themselves. Furthermore, Shimane is the only place where the traditional iron making technology called “Tatara” has been alive since long ago. Shimane is still the center of the production of high quality metal, known as tamahagane, for Japanese swords.
One can’t help but appreciate the passion and great respect that the people have for Shimane’s natural landscape, cultures, and traditions.