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Posted by on in Japanese culture

神楽  Kagura










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 ★Kanji with hiragana







 ★English Translation

The other day I took a trip to a city called Akitakata in the north of Hirohima prefecture. Here the traditional performance art of Kagura is frequently performed.

Kagura is the name for songs and dances offered up to the gods that protect the local area in which you live or to the gods of Japanese myths. They are used to pray to the gods for a good harvest, or to give thanks for the harvest.

The dancers or “Mai-kata” wear beautiful embroidered costumes and perform the dances. There are some programs that feature fierce-looking demons and giant snakes too. The “Hayashi-kata” perform the music. The “Hayashi-kata” use large taiko drums, small taiko drums, hand-held gongs and flutes to perform the music.

If you are interested in watching it, just enter “kagura” in the YouTube search and see it for yourself. I am so completely charmed by the sound of the Japanese flute, that I bought a DVD that teaches how to play the instrument. My friends and family laughed at me, saying that I would quit soon, but I believe that I will get good at playing the flute, so continue to practice.
It's harder than I expected, but I will keep trying !


 ★This week's vocabulary


伝統芸能(でんとうげいのう) traditional performance art

豊作(ほうさく) good harvest

収穫(しゅうかく) harvest

形相(ぎょうそう) fierce look

魅了(みりょう) charm, fascinate

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