Chōkaisan Kotaki Bangaku
Location: Kotaki, Kisakata-machi, Nikaho City
Site(s) of performance: The community center and other places in the community
Date(s): The day before the 2nd Saturday of June (the day before the shrine’s annual festival), August 13, and August 1 in the lunar calendar
Designation: Prefecture-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Shishimai and Bangaku
Bangaku of Kotaki was called Hiyama in the old days. The Hiyama Dance of Mega (present-day Yamagata Prefecture) and Hiyama Dance of Sugisawa (also in Yamagata Prefecture) are said to have been derived from the Hiyama of Kotaki. One of the masks for Chōkaisan Kotaki Bangaku has a signature, dated 1659, that reads ‘by Fuchina Gyōbu’. As that date is known to be the date of the mask’s repair, it is clear that bangaku started here before that date. The bangaku was practiced as part of sacred rituals for Mt. Chōkai. It replicates the dance of Amenouzume in the myth of Amaterasu’s seclusion in a cave, which attracted Amaterasu (the Sun God) out of the cave and saved the world. As Amenouzume danced on a barrel and tapped out the rhythm with her foot, the bangaku dancers here often tap out the rhythm with their foot as well.
About Shishimai and Bangaku