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Katano Bangaku

Location: Matsukidai, Saimyoji, Nishiki-machi, Semboku City
Site(s) of performance: Kamasugi Shrine
Date(s): September 16 (the evening before the annual festival of the shrine) (no longer practiced at the time of survey in fiscal year 2012)
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Shishimai and Bangaku
Katano Bangaku is a mountain ascetics’ bangaku that was practiced in late fall, for which reason it was also called Frosty-Season Bangaku. It belongs to the school of Ishigami Bangaku (at Ishigami of former Tazawako Town). It was apparently established by the midst of the Edo era, since there is a record that it was very popular during the Tempō period (1830–1844). Onikawa Saburobei of Haruyama (in the former Tazawako Town) became the bangaku master and delivered the bangaku at the residence of Inomoto Rokuemon of Katano. In the month of November (called the Month of Frost in Old Japanese), shugen ascetics gathered and performed bangaku in the mountain mist. It was later passed on to the villagers down the mountain and was established as the tradition of Katano Bangaku.

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