Performance Arts of Tonami Shrine
Location: Tonami, Masuda-machi, Yokote City
Site(s) of performance: Tonami Shrine and the open space in front of the Tonami Annex of Masuda Community Center
Date(s): May 5 (the annual Tonami Festival) and August 14
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
The community of Tonami practices every year what they call Gion Bayashi (Gion Music) at the annual festival of Tonami Shrine, Kitsune Bayashi (Fox Music) on April 8 in the lunar calendar, and Kusa Ondo (Commoners’ Dance Music) as a Bon dance. The Gion Bayashi is a Kyoto-style music that was brought here by Chishima Kenmotsu, a masterless samurai from Kaga Province (present-day Ishikawa Prefecture), at the turn of the 18th century. Kitsune Bayashi used to be offered on April 8 in the lunar calendar, the day before the annual festival of Yakushi Shrine, and now, the shrine having been abolished, the participants dance around a bonfire in the community park. Kusa Ondo is performed in the same park on August 14 for the Bon dance. As its name suggests, it involves a simple dance and music.