NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


大野楽 Oonogaku Onogaku Performing Art

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Onogaku is a type of traditional performing art from Ono in Maetsuemachi, Hita, in Oita Prefecture.

Onogaku is said to have begun as a dedication or offering following a drought in 1331. It is also believed to have been performed to celebrate the birth of Hachimandai-Bosatsu (Buddhist god of protection, also known as Emperor Ojin). The exact origins, however, are still unknown.

It is believed that at first, Onogaku was performed as a dedication after drought, a period of rain or an epidemic, but its main purpose is said to be as a prayer for rain. In modern times, however, it is performed as a dedication to Uji-gami (the protective deity of a region) and Oimatsu-tenman-sha in order to wish for a good harvest of the five grains, as a cleansing of plagues and misfortune, and to celebrate the new emperor and his success to the throne. It is also designated as an intangible folk-cultural asset of Oita.

No certain date is fixed to hold Onogaku, but it is usually performed toward the end of October. More than 100 people parade and dance in Onogaku, creating an epic atmosphere that is absolutely gorgeous.

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Ono, Maetsuemachi, Hita, Oita Prefecture, 877-0212
Onogaku Preservation Meeting

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