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田林神楽 Tabayashi-kagura Tabayashi Kagura

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Tabayashi Kagura is a traditional folk performing art handed down at Tabayashi Atago Shrine located in the ruins site of Marumori Castle in Marumori Town, Miyagi Prefecture.

It is said that this kagura dance is a kind of Juni Kagura (the kagura with 12 plays), which originated in Izumo province (present-day Shimane Prefecture). The repertoire and the dancing styles of Tabayashi Kagura are typical to Juni Kagura. The repertoire comprises 12 plays, each of which celebrates the feats of gods from “Sarutahiko,” “Uzume,” “The God of Paddy Field” to “Izumogiri” about Susanoo no Mikoto.

This kagura dance is composed of two phases; the “torimonomai,” in which dancers wear no masks and have torimono (a thing to hold in a hand) such as sakaki (a branch of a holy tree) or a sword, and Shinno (sacred Noh), which is a masked dance dramas about sacred myths.

The kagura dances are performed to pray for peace of the land, a rich harvest and happiness as well as to drive away bad luck. The dances have handed down magnificence and elegance of the world of ancient mythology to the modern generations.
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