Classic Hiroshima Kagura Oeyama Trilogy in English

Although a drop in COVID-19 infections has allowed the resumption of Wednesday Night Hiroshima Kagura nights in Hiroshima City, with borders still closed for the foreseeable future, the return of the popular English Kagura nights which featured English subtitles and interpreted introductions and Q&A sessions seems a long way off.

Kagura fans, however, not not despair! A new season of online kagura performances, complete with those all important subtitles, has begun. The series kicked off with a performance of Yamauba (“Mountain Hag”) broadcast last week and continues with the classic Oeyama trilogy, broadcast over 3 weeks, on Fridays at 10am JST.

The three plays that make up the Oeyama Trilogy are Modoribashi, Rashomon and Oeyama. None of these plays were performed at pre-pandemic English Kagura nights nor were included in the program of subtitled kagura performances broadcast online starting late last year.

The plays are set in the middle of Heian era (794-c.1185) in and around the ancient capital of Kyoto which is under the protection of Minamoto-no-Raiko and his loyal retainers. The city is besieged by demons who make forays from their layer Mt. Oeyama to the north. In classic kagura tradition, this situation will not stand and the demons must be dealt with. This is, of course, exactly what happens, but it’s a feat that takes three thrilling plays to accomplish.

The Oeyama plays all have a very spooky feel and feature plenty of the lightening-fast costume changes and elaborate fight scenes that Hiroshima Kagura is known for; plus severed limbs! The whole thing concludes with one of the biggest battle sequences in the kagura canon
 

Modoribashi

November 5, 2021 at 10:00 JST

 

Rashomon

November 12, 2021 at 10:00 JST

 

Oeyama

November 19, 2021 at 10:00 JST

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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