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Takasu Kagura is a Shinto theatrical dance that is dedicated to the god of Takasu Shrine twice a year in hopes of having an abundant crops. Although the origins of this tradition are not known, legend has it that when Harada Chikuzen no Kami Tanechika (lord of Takasu Castle) was ordered by his leader, Ouchi Masahiro (lord of Yamaguchi Catsle in Suonokuni), to undertake the important role of Governor of Kyoto in 1467, he learned Kyoto’s Nokagura (classical Japanese musical drama) between battles and later introduced it in his hometown.
Takasu Kagura was designated a Folk Cultural Asset by Marebaru Town in 1971, and an Intangible Folk Cultural Asset by Fukuoka Prefecture in 1981. It is known as a magnificent folk performing art.
There are two types of dances in Takasu Kagura: “Mai (Dancing) Kagura”, in which unmasked performers dance peacefully and raise sacred instruments (bells, swords, and balls) while chanting the Kagura song in response to the music; and “Men (Masked) Kagura”, in which some performers wearing masks take the stage and play out a myth.
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