NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


薬莱神社三輪流神楽 Yakurai-jinja-miwa-ryuu-kagura Yakurai Jinja Miwaryu Kagura

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Yakurai Jinja Miwaryu Kagura is a traditional folk performing art handed down at Yakurai Shrine in Kami Town, Miyagi Prefecture. It is a kind of the Hoin-styled kagura dances that were performed by mountain practitioners. Its dancing style, Miwaryu (the Miwa school of dancing), dates back to the period reigned by Empress Suiko (the 7th century).

This kagura had been danced by shrine priests since the period when this area was ruled by the Osaki clan, who served as the Oshu Tandai (the responsible head of the shogun’s executive office in the Tohoku region), during the Muromachi period (1336-1573). It is now danced by volunteers among the shrine’s worshippers and managed by the Omiya family, the hereditary shrine priest family.

In 1683, the 4th lord of the Sendai domain, Date Tsunamura ordered Miwaryu Kagura be transferred to Kameoka Hachiman Shrine, the family god of the Date clan in present Sendai City, from which Kameoka Shrine Kagura derived. Miwaryu Kagura was also dedicated at Kamo Shrine in present Sendai City later by the order of the domain lord.

As there is no similar-styled kagura dance existing in the prefecture, the prefectural government acknowledged its cultural preciousness and designated it as an intangible folk cultural property in 1978. Since then it has been formally named “Yakurai Jinja Miwaryu Kagura.” At present, it is performed at the spring and autumn annual festivals and hands down the religious faith peculiar to this mountain area centered around Mt. Yakurai.

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7 Kaminome Omiya, Kami-machi, Kami-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 981-4374
Yakurai Jinja Miwaryu Kagura

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