Narayama Kashima Festival
Location: Narayama-Nobori-machi, Akita City
Site(s) of performance: Kashima Shrine and other places in the community
Date(s): 1st Sunday of July
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Taiko-Furyū and Matsuri-Bayashi
The Kashima Festival of Narayama was traditionally held on May 23 in the lunar calendar, but the date has been adjusted to the modern calendar and is now held on 1st Sunday of July every year at the time of the present survey. With its Kashima Shrine, the Kashima rituals have been practiced. The music performed at the Kashima rituals is called Kashima Bayashi. For the Kashima rituals, a large doll and a small shrine is installed on the stern of a yatai float, Kashima-fune, and small Kashima dolls of about 30cm are devoted to it and put on the float. The yatai float goes around the community, after an usherer visits houses and purifies them to prepare for the Kashima yatai’s visit. On the yatai, large and small drums are installed and the drummer walks after the yatai beating them. Players of Japanese flutes also follow the yatai float. The music here is probably one of the prototypes of Kantō Bayashi. Similar music is performed in many places in the vicinity, such as the festival of Sankō-Kumano Shrine, Kantō-Bayashi of Ōmachi, and Minato-Bayashi of Tsuchizaki, which may have influenced each other.