Intangible heritage

Hayachine Kagura. ©UNESCO 2008
WARNING! if you get could not connect to server, update the Flash® plugin –consult FAQ.5 for help
Hayachine Kagura

Share this content:
Language(s): English subtitles: Spa

Summary/Historical Context

Related material that you
may also like:
Popular art

In the fourteenth or fifteenth century, when the people of Iwate Prefecture in the northern part of mainland Japan worshipped Mt. Hayachine as a deity, they began a tradition of folk performance that continues to enliven the Great Festival of the Hayachine Shrine held in Hanamaki City on the first day of August. The Hayachine Kagura is a series of masked dances accompanied by drum, cymbals and flute: six ritual dances begin the performance, five dances recount stories of the deities and medieval Japanese history, and a final dance features a performer dressed as a "shishi," an imaginary lion-like creature representing the Hayachine deity himself. Originally danced by holy officers of the Shrine to demonstrate the power of the mountain deity and bless the people, the Hayachine Kagura is now performed by representatives of the entire community, who take pride in their distinctive culture. To transmit and display the ritual is to reconfirm a sense of identity within the group and to contribute to the continuity of an important tradition. Its enactment also commemorates events from Japanese history and celebrates one of the mountain deities worshipped throughout the country.

on this subject: Nomination file - Dossier de candidature

Place/Country: Japan
Series: 2009 Inscriptions on the Representative List
Type: Documentary
Credits: Hanamaki City Board of Education, producer.
Published in:

Request embed code for your website

Find Content
ONLY IN (optional):
Audio recordings
Search by country name