Festival of the traditional performing arts

The 876th "Kasuga-Wakamiya-Onmaturi"( Kasuga-Wakamiya -Shrine 's festival) was held on 15th to 18th in December in Nara city. This festival was started to pray saving people from hunger by heavy rain,flood or plagues and stability of the country. 
Kasuga-Wakamiya-Shrine is near Kasuga-Shrine and Gods of those two Shrines are  relative.

Ichi-no-torii...this is the first gate of the Kasuga-Shrine and parade or horse racing or yabusame are taken place on this approach to  Kasuga-shrine

 People with torches and scent purify the road in the dark on the 17th zero hour and the God of Wakamiya moves to the Otabisyo(a temporary place) from Wakamiya-shrine . I heard this is a mysterious ceremony.

Otabisho....the temporary palace of God of Kasuga-Wakamiya

From the noon, maidens in the service of a Shinto shrine or kids on horses or people wearing costume of various periods  parade in the city and go to the Otabisho. Yabusame (horseback archery) by kids or horse racing are taken place  at the approach to the shrine.

Maidens in the service of a Shinto shrine on horses

They(kids) performed Yabusame

Chigo...children take part in a festival of a shrine

Horse racing...they raced to the Otabisho.

They are players of traditional musical instruments maybe.

Attendants of the procession of daimyo(Japanese feudal lord)
Yabusame by a kid...he shot an arrow toward the target and the target of the board was broken into two perfectly.

This is also the ceremony of the old traditional performing arts.
There is a lawn stage in front of the temporary palace at Otabisho. Maidens in the service of a Shinto shrine dance Kagura( a kind of dance) or people who paraded dance Dengaku,Seino,Sarugaku,Bugaku(these are a kind of dance) on the lawn stage outside.
 These  old traditional performing arts are dedicated to the God Wakamiya for about 8hours.

There were the big earthquake and tunami of the eastern Japan and also the heavy flood in Oku-Yoshino-Kumano in this year. So they dedicated also another two dances to the God to pray their quick recovery .   Those two dances were performed  after an interval of 300 years.

Sarugaku...this developed into Noh or Kyougen

Big drum


They danced very slowly with gagaku

While I was watching it's getting colder and colder. Though I had a kairo(pocket body warmer), I gave up to see them around 8:00 PM. I heard it continues till around 10:30PM. I wanted to see this.( this was taken with youtube in 2008)

After all performance were over, God of Wakamiya goes back to the Kasuga-Wakamiya-Shrine by on the 18th zero hour.
People in Yamato (Nara prefecture) get together and take place this festival,wishing that God of Wakamiya is pleased to see their performances . And they pray the rich harvest of rice and people's happiness.

According to Kiyomizu-temple in Kyoto, a word reflects social condition in this year in Japan was 絆(ties, bond ). Big earthquake and tunami or radioactive contamination brought big harm. We saw  the people's ties, cordiality, love in the mess.
Though there are a lot of difficult problems in Japan, I wish they would be resolved faster and well.

and also I wish you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

                                                    This post is linked our world Tuesday

25 件のコメント:

今、この一瞬を さんのコメント...




haricot さんのコメント...


Arti さんのコメント...

Such a wonderful festival and also for such pious reasons. The maidens and the children must be very lucky to take part in the festival. The night pics are so clear and I could feel that chill that you wrote about.
Wonderful post Sarah, have a fabulous week ahead:)

Spiderdama さんのコメント...

You can really this with festivals in Japan! So many great pictures and colors.
And that big drum, really beautiful and so many details.

Hope you have a blessed Christmas.
Many hugs from Tania:-)

stardust さんのコメント...

Thank you, Sarah, for introducing this fascinating On-matsuri Festival to the world. Continued without interruption for about 870 years, one important aspect of this is a festival of preforming arts. Kagura, Yamato-mai, Bugaku, Dengaku, Sarugaku, etc. have been transmitted in relatively pure form.

I would go to see the parade with my children since the elementary school was closed in the afternoon of that day. It was a hands-on cultural study. I wonder how many years passed? I’m happy to have a glimpse into it again with the comfort of my warm living room.

I’ve enjoyed your posts with friendly and occasional funny narratives and wonderful photos filled with your pure heart. Best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year.


LifeRamblings さんのコメント...

the festival looks very colourful and appealing. i enjoy all your pictures and i particularly love the intricate details of the big drum.

Red Rose. さんのコメント...

おん祭りのことを始めて知りました。870年もの間欠かすこと無くこのお祭りの行事が守られ続けて来られた事に驚きと、奈良の歴史の奥深さを感じます。カラフルな衣装ですね。寒い中だったそうですが、雅楽もさぞ堪能された事と思います。Thank you for introducing that interesting traditional festival.


Forest Dream Weaver さんのコメント...

Hi Sarah!
Thank you for sharing this magnificent occasion with us.It must have been wonderful to see in person.
The horses are beautiful and your photos so descriptive and interesting.
All best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Happy blogging!

snowwhite さんのコメント...

We must have been close to each other and watching the festival. I could not find you in my photo! I wanted to see two special performances to pray for Tohoku district, but I had to go home. Did you see them?? But what a coincident!! Nice surprise!!
I had six Kairo, but still it was too cold!
Have wonderful holidays and Happy New Year!

ruma さんのコメント...

Hello, sarah.

 I was given many crops from your glorious works.
 We are far distantly each other, but this human interchange has cultural significance.

 Thank you for your heartwarming message and many visit, in this year.

 Healthy and Happy new years for you and yours.

Close spring, ruma ❀

sarah さんのコメント...

To Stardust,
According to the Kojien,Kasuga-Wakamiya-shrine was built in 1135.
1135 plus 876 is 2011. So This festival has been holding from foundation time,I think. So it was held at World War 2?

To Snow White,
The next person of the left drum is wearing white cloth and I am the next of her.I am wearing white down coat,too.
Another two Bugaku were 甘州、敷手.
These were danced in 1712 and 1713,according to On-Maturi-Mokuroku.
I watched them because there was an announcement. But I think their dance resembled with other Bugaku.

Arti さんのコメント...

I also just now saw this same festival pics on Keiko's blog... I learnt so much from all your blogs... Wish you and your family a very Happy and Joyful New Year Sarah:)

ruma さんのコメント...

Dear sarah.
Happy new year 2012.

  Your time is yours, with your heart.
  The prayer for all peace.
Close spring, ruma ❃

Spiderdama さんのコメント...

Hi Sarah!
My best wishes and blessings to you and your family in 2012!

Regards from Tania:-)

Geli さんのコメント...

Now I've read here a long time on your blog Sarah, great information and so are able to see the flowers are great, many greetings ...

Q さんのコメント...

Happy New Year...Thank you for sharing this festival with us. So many beautiful photographs.
I will watch on youtube too.
I love all things Asian.
Looking forward to Luna New Year.

Rohit Sareen さんのコメント...

this is such a nice post. u've documented the entire festival so well!

My Third Eye

cosmos さんのコメント...


Wendy さんのコメント...

What beautiful costumes! Thank you for sharing this magnificent festival with us. I'd love to see it one day.
Blessings and Happy New Year to you and your family.

Redruby さんのコメント...

lovely photographs of your country...wish to visit it one day..thanks for visiting!

best regards from me and my blogs.

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