NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2008/7/11

西馬音内盆踊り Nishimonai-bon-odori Nishimonai Bon Dancing

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Nishimonai Bon Dancing is a traditional event that has been handed down for a long time in Nishimonai in Ugo-machi, Akita Prefecture. One theory states that it started about 700 years ago, when Mitake Shrine was founded in this village and a dance to pray for rich harvest was dedicated. In 1981, Nishimonai Bon Dancing was designated as a national Important Intangible Cultural Property. It was the first designation for a Bon dancing.

One of the attractions of Nishimonai Bon Dancing is its unique and beautiful fashion. To the music of Japanese flute and drums played atop the yagura (scaffold), both minority women putting on black hood called Hikosa-zukin and adult women putting on elegant straw hat called Torioi-gasa perform elegant dances. It was considered that spirits gathered under the hood and hats. Some adult men dancers wear female dress.

There are two types of dances; “Ondo” with cheerful tempos and “Ganke” with quiet rhythms. Very complicated movements of feet and hands create elegant effects.

The ancestral “Hanui” costumes are also very beautiful. “Hanui” is passed down from mother to daughter and the patterns and designs are differ from family to family. We can see a family history in “Hanui,” which is made of fragments of old clothes collected from generation to generation since the times when dresses were important properties for women.

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Nishimonai, Ugo-machi, Ogachi-gun, Akita Prefecture 012-1131
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Nishimonai Bon Dancing




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