Matsugasaki-Hachiman Shrine Kagura Dance
Location: Matsugasaki, Yurihonjo City
Site(s) of performance: Hachiman Shrine
Date(s): 1st Sunday of July
This kagura dance was started under the influence of the school of the Ise-Ō-Kagura (also pronounced Ise-Dai-Kagura) dance. It is executed by two performers, one carrying the lion head on his head and the other dancing as the body part of the lion. The role of the priest is played by the Kagura troupe. Two kinds of numbers are performed: bell dances and sword dances. For bell dances, the dancer carrying the lion head dances with bells in his hand. For sword dances, the dancer carrying the lion head dances with a sword in his hand. Both types of dances have purificatory meanings. There used to be fan dances, but they were no longer performed at the time of the present study.