Find out more about this Japanese performance art
Join us for a lecture from Terence Lancashire of Osaka Ohtani University on Kagura, before enjoying a performance in the Entrance Hall.Kagura, a ritual entertainment performed primarily in Shinto shrines, is one of the five main categories of Japanese folk performing arts as defined by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Kagura has its origins in the mythical dance of the goddess Ame no Uzume no Mikoto before a cave in which the sun goddess, Amaterasu Omikami, has hidden herself because of the misdeeds of her younger brother. Amaterasu is lured out the cave and light is restored. Ame no Uzume’s dance is seen as the origins of kagura and even other later forms of entertainment, particularly Noh drama. Kagura has been realized in various forms over its long history. The oldest is the dance of miko, shrine maidens. But through the course of its history, it has also developed into theatrical representations of ancient Japanese myths and historical episodes. The Ōtsu kagura group are exponents of Iwami kagura, a theatrical kagura performed in the ancient area of Iwami in the western part of Shimane prefecture in the west of Japan. It is a young group, which attests to the continued popularity of the tradition in the Iwami area.