Holiday Kagura

The holiday season provides a couple of opportunities to check out the extravagant costumes, and frenetic drum rhythms that characterize kagura dance in the Chugoku region.

Both occasions are good opportunities to catch a bunch of the many dance troupes that are based out in the north of Hiroshima prefecture in the city center.

You can find some English information on Hiroshima kagura, as well some more clips of some of the tales to be performed at the events below, here.

Night Kagura at the Former Bank of Japan Building

The Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce is once again putting on free kagura performances at the Former Bank of Japan building (Kyu Nichigin) Thursday, December 22 – Saturday, December 24..

 

On each of the nights there will two 45 minute performances starting at 19:30 and finishing at 21:10. Although the costumes, music and dancing are really entertaining even without having a clue about what’s going on, the Chamber of Commerce have been making an effort to make the shows more accessible by providing English synopses of the folk tales to non-Japanese visitors so they can follow the action. Nights one and two, both provide a chance to see the crowd-pleaser Yamata-no-orochi with it’s climatic battle against a giant eight-headed snake.

They will close the doors if it gets full so you should probably try and get there a bit ahead of time.

Schedule of performances

  • On Thursday, December 22 the Hasadake Troupe (Takamiya, Akitakada-shi) perform Suzukayama and Yamata-no-orochi (There is a 30min opening ceremony before the performances get under way at 19:30.)
  • On Friday, December 23 The Sanshou Troupe (Tsushimi, Kita-hiroshima-cho ) perform Katsuragisan and Yamata-no-orochi
  • On Saturday, December 24 The Ikadatsu Troupe (Oasa, Kita-hiroshima-cho ) perform Jinrin and Tsuchigumo

New Year Kagura at Green Arena 

Over the New Year holiday, two days of kagura performances are held in Green Arena every year. Doors open at 10am and the performances kick off at 11am and continue until about 4pm.

Schedule of performances

Monday, January 2

  • Ama-no-iwato (天の岩戸)
  • Tenjinki (天神記)
  • Takiyasha-hime (滝夜叉姫)
  • Momijigari (紅葉狩)
  • Tsuchigumo (土蜘蛛)
  • Oushuuhiraizumi (奥州平泉)

Tuesday, January 3

  • Tsuchigumo (土蜘蛛)
  • 倭建命 大塚神楽団
  • Akkoden (悪狐伝・中編)
  • Takiyasha-hime (滝夜叉姫)
  • Doujyouji (道成寺)
  • Momijigari (紅葉狩)

Here is a clip from a performance of Akkoden which will be performed on the second day.

Admission

  • Adults: ¥2500 (adv)  ¥3000 (door)
  • Children: ¥500 (adv) &;yen;1000 (door)

Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of GetHiroshima.com and loves running in the mountains.

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