Hayachine Shrine, at the foot of Mt. Hayachine (Photo: Imogen Riethmuller)

Hayachine Kagura in Tono

Dances for the deities

Imogen Riethmuller   - 1 min read

Kagura is a Shinto theatrical dance found throughout Japan. The tradition of performing ‘god-entertainment’ began in the fourteenth or fifteenth century, as a means of worshipping Mt. Hayachine as a deity. Kagura dancers are usually local residents with other full time jobs, although some professional dancers travel to festivals around the country for special events. Hayachine kagura has a long, culturally significant history, which was recognised in 2009 when it was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Throughout the year in Tono, the Hayachine kagura is performed at the Mt. Hayachine Shrine, in front of the mountain goddess herself.

Imogen Riethmuller

Imogen Riethmuller @imogen.riethmuller