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Yamaya Bangaku

Location: Noda, Taihei-Yamaya, Akita City
Site(s) of performance: Anywhere
Date(s): Anytime
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Shishimai and Bangaku
The bangaku mask of Yamaya Bangaku is itself a sacred object enshrined at Ikimen Shrine. The mask (which is a city-designated tangible cultural property) is believed to date from the Kamakura era (13th to 14th century). The fact that Bangaku played with it, probably goes back to those times as well. It is closely related with the worship of Mt. Taihei, which was a sacred mountain for shugen ascetics. This bangaku was believed to have eminent effects against diseases, and when people suffer from contagious diseases many villages invited its performance.

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