Niiseki Children’s Kagura
Location: Niiseki, Sagae, Jumonji-machi, Yokote City
Site(s) of performance: Hachiman Shrine
Date(s): April 24 and 25
Category: Taiko-Furyū and Matsuri-Bayashi
Niiseki Children’s Kagura, despite the name, consists only of music, without song or dance. It is performed as an offering at the annual festival of Hachiman Shrine. It is performed only by children (elementary school students), with big drums, small drums, hand drums, and clappers. The origin is unknown, but it was practiced at least around 1930 and was brought to the community of Furuuchi (in the former Jumonji Town), one of the nearby communities of Niiseki. The tradition was interrupted at Niiseki, but was revived around 1990 with support from Furuuchi.