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World Intangible Cultural Heritage Hayachine Kagura

ユネスコ無形文化遺産 早池峰神楽(花巻市)

Kagura, or “god-entertainment,” is a type of Shinto theatrical dance found throughout Japan. Kagura dancers are not professional performers; rather, they are local residents with other full time jobs, such as public employees, business owners, farmers, and carpenters. They would visit local homes and perform to pray for an abundant harvest, peace, and prosperity.

There are many versions of kagura in Iwate; the two of the most famous are Take Kagura and Otsugunai Kagura. Take Kagura, performed in the Take region where Hayachine Shrine is located, and Otsugunai Kagura, performed in the Otsugunai region, are together referred to as “Hayachine Kagura.” With a history of over 500 years, Hayachine Kagura is designated as a national important intangible folk cultural property; in 2009, it was also inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The two kagura are very similar, though with minor differences in program names. Both contain about 40 programs, and end with a dance called Gongen Mai ( Buddha Avatar Dance ) . Take Kagura Gongen Mai is performed at the top of Mt. Hayachine on the opening day of the mountain’s hiking season.

In the Ohasama region of Hanamaki City, Hayachine Kagura is performed 8 times a year at events such as shrine festivals. In addition, Take Kagura, Otsugunai Kagura, and Yagimaki Kagura are performed on the 2nd Sunday of each month at the Hanamaki City Ohasama Exchange Vitalization Center ( admission charged ) . Hayachine Kagura is also often invited to perform in other areas; it has enjoyed several successful overseas performances as well.

VENUE DETAILS

Inquiries
Tourist Information Hanamaki Tourist Information 0198-24-1931 Hanamaki Tourist Center 0198-31-2244
Access 1
Bus from JR Shin-Hanamaki Station Ohasama/Hanamaki Line Get on at Hanamaki Station Boarding Area 2 or Shin-Hanamaki Station Boarding Area 5 Get off at Ohasama Bus Terminal 29 min 0198-48-2210 ( Ohasama Bus Terminal )
Access 2
Transfer at Ohasama Bus Terminal Hayachine Line Get on at Ohasama Bus Terminal Get off at Dake 44 min 0198-48-2210 ( Ohasama Bus Terminal )
Access 3
Car About 50 min. from Hanamaki IC

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