Thursday, August 9, 2012

Japanese Traditional Folk Dance: Kagura



I went to Hiroshima many years ago and while there I witnessed Kagura. I was mightily impressed. It was much more fun, lively and exciting than Kabuki, I thought. 


Here's a pretty good video of Kagura from Azumayama:




Kagura (神楽, かぐら, "god-entertainment") is a Japanese word referring to a specific type of Shinto theatrical dance—with roots arguably predating those of Noh. Once strictly a ceremonial art derived from kami'gakari (神懸, かみがかり, "oracular divination") and chinkon (鎮魂, ちんこん, "spirit pacification"), Kagura has evolved in many directions over the span of a millennium. Today it is very much a living tradition, with rituals tied to the rhythms of the agricultural calendar, as well as vibrant Kabuki-esque theatre, thriving primarily in parts of Shimane prefecture, and urban centers such as Hiroshima


Once again, I see a complete and total connection to traditional American indian dance... There's no doubt in my mind that the American indians came across the Aleutian islands many millennium ago.

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