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Monday, November 22, 2010

Takachiho Yokagura

高千穂夜神楽

Takachiho Yokagura is performed nightly at Takachiho Shrine in Takachiho in Miyazaki Prefecture.

Usually four dances are performed in the hourly show which begins at 8pm (500 yen).

The evening we attended we saw the Dance of Tajikarao, the Dance of Ameno-Uzume and the Totori Dance featuring Tajikarao. In the first dance Tajikarao listens for sounds of Amaterasu (the sun goddess) hiding in Amano-Iwato cave. In the second dance Ameno-Uzume performs an "unusual" (read "bawdy" according to the ancient texts) dance that makes the other gods laugh, thus making Amaterau curious enough to peek outside her cave. In the third dance, Tajikarao, known for his great strength, gathers his energy and removes the stone blocking the cave, thus restoring the sun to the universe.


The dance shown in the video (above) is the comic Goshintai Dance and shows Izanagi and Izanami, the god and goddess who created Japan according to Japanese mythology, as they make and drink sake. These two gods are known for their long and loving marriage before the tragedy of Izanami's death in child-birth. This dance is also known as the "Creation of Japan" dance.


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