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Matsudate-Tenmangū Shrine Sandaisan Gongen Dance

Location: Matsudate, Hachimantai, Kazuno City
Site(s) of performance: Sugawara Shrine
Date(s): April 25
Designation: Prefecture-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Shishimai and Bangaku
Matsudate-Tenmangū Shrine (alias Sugawara Shrine) was founded either in 1300 or in 1022 under the authority of Kitano-Tenmangū in Kyoto with Sugawara Michizane as its main deity. It is believed that the Manzairaku Dance by villagers was the origin of the Gongen Dance here. During the time of syncretism of Buddhism and Shinto in the early modern age, this shrine was called the Sandaisan Temple, for which reason the dance is commonly known as the Sandaisan Gongen Dance. The tradition was discontinued in the early 20th century, but was revived in 1937 as a bugaku dance, in which form it is performed today. The dance is offered every year on April 25 at the annual festival of the Matsudate-Tenmangū Shrine.

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