Hiroshima City Kagura Troupe Performances Series July-September [Yuki Lodge]
Kagura performances by Hiroshima city kagura troupe are held on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month at Yuki Lodge.
Kagura has been dedicated to the fall festival to thank the gods for a good harvest of five grains.
Kagura, which is unique to each region, has been handed down.
Impressive experiences that can only be enjoyed here await, such as splendid and dynamic dances, gorgeous costumes, and the taiko and flute of the Hayashi side.
Kagura performances by Hiroshima city kagura troupe are held at Yuki Lodge on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month, so please take this opportunity to enjoy Hiroshima Kagura.
* Due to the effects of the novel coronavirus infection, it may be canceled suddenly, so please check the latest information beforehand before going out.
Held on the 2nd and 4th Sundays from 2023/7/9 (Sun) to 9/24 (Sun)
|Date||Kagura Troupe||Program (click on title to view summary)|
|July 9th||Suzuhari Kagura Troupe||“Shōmon-ki (The Record of Masakado)”, “Modori-bashi Bridge”|
|July 23th||Omori Kagura Troupe||“Modori-bashi Bridge”, “Mt. Suzuka and the Sanmyō Sword”|
|August 13th||Takai Kagura Troupe||“Mt. Oe-yama”, “Yamata-no-Orochi(The Eight-Headed Snake Demon)”|
|August 27th||Minochi Kagura Troupe||“Mt. Katsuragi-zan”, “Yamata-no-Orochi(The Eight-Headed Snake Demon)”
"Yamata-no-Orochi" has been changed from "Takiyasha-hime (Lady Takiyasha)".
|September 10th||Ato Kagura Troupe||“Susuhaki-no-mai”, “Goto-no-mai”, “Yatsuhana-no-mai”
"Goto-no-mai" has been changed from "Onitaiji-no-mai" and "Naginata-no-mai".
|September 24th||Ayanishi Kagura Troupe||“Akkoden”, “Tsuchigumo”
“Akkoden” and “Tsuchigumo” have been changed from “Momijigari” and “Inu-Gami”
Summary of the plays
Shōmon-ki (The Record of Masakado)
During the mid-Heian period (894-1068), drought, famine, and infectious diseases ravaged the lands outside of the capital, while those who lived and served at court spent their days in luxury, passing the time as they pleased.
Kojirō Masakado is the son of Taira-no-Yoshimasa, commander-in-chief of the central peacekeeping headquarters and first-born son of Sōma Heike, the Imperial grandchild who settled in the Kantō region. Seeking support for his clan, Masakado travels to the capital and earns the protection of Chancellor Fujiwara-no-Tadahira. However, Masakado is ridiculed as a country simpleton and is unable to get a job with the police as he wanted. Frustrated, he makes the choice to return home.
It was then that Masakado received word of his father’s passing. Hurrying back home, he is met by his son, Tarō Yoshikado, and daughter, Satsuki-hime. They tell him the truth of how his father, Yoshimasa, died: it was his enemy and uncle, Kunika. His children denounce Kunika’s wrongdoings and Masakado takes them with him to face Kunika and take back the Nitō-Ittsui-no-Hōtō, a treasured sword and symbol of the clan, that he has stolen. Masakado rushed to his old home that has been occupied by Kunika, and, after a fierce battle with Kunika, defeats him and takes back his clan’s sword.
Stricken by Kunika’s misgovernment, in addition to the suffering of the people at the hands of the Imperial government, Masakado, a descendant of the emperor in his own right, declares that the eight provinces of Kantō will secede from the Imperial government and that he will serve as the new emperor.
Evil creatures lurk within the nighttime shadows of the Imperial capital of Kyoto, causing the residents to fear the night. Under a mantle of darkness, strange creatures appear at Modori-bashi Bridge. Guardian of the capital and protector of Settsu-no-Kuni, Minamoto-no-Raikō, is ordered to destroy the creatures and sends Watanabe-no-Gengo Tsuna, one of the most famed warriors of his retainers and a part of the Four Heavenly Generals, to Modori-bashi Bridge in Ichijō.
Sensing something evil, Tsuna rushes to confront it, but is met with a trembling old woman. She explains that she is on a pilgrimage, but had fallen ill, and so decided to rest for a moment. Feeling sorry for the woman, Tsuna shows her to his home so that she may recover there. The pair make conversation on the way there, but there is something amiss in the sly smirk that spreads across the old woman’s face as she learns more about Tsuna.
It turns out that she is actually Ibaraki-dōji, one of the demons of Mt. Ōeyama in Tanba-no-Kuni. The demon attacks Tsuna, ready to turn him into an appetizer for their master, the Great Demon Shuten-dōji, but just then, Sakata-no-Kintoki, another member of the Four Heavenly Generals, arrives to join the fray, having been told about Tsuna’s fate in a prophecy by the god of Iwashimizu. Kintoki and Tsuna succeed in cutting off Ibaraki-dōji’s left arm and the demon swears revenge before flying back to his home on Mt. Ōeyama.
Mt. Suzuka and the Sanmyō Sword
During the reign of Emperor Kammu (781-806), the Great Demon Ōtake-maru was committing countless atrocities and terrorizing the people of Mt. Suzuka, located on the border between Ise Province (current central Mie Prefecture) and Oumi Province (current Shiga). Saka-no-ue Tamuramaro was ordered by the emperor to destroy the demon.
When faced with Saka-no-ue Tamuramaro’s forces, Ōtake-maru summons roaring thunder and rains down fire. Evenly matched, the two sides have been locked in battle for years. At the same time, there was a heavenly maiden named Suzuka Gozen descended from heaven above. Ōtake-maru falls in love with her and transforms into a handsome young man to win her affection. He visits her night after night, but to no avail. Unable to win her love, the demon is filled with rage. One day, Tamuramaro meets Suzuka Gozen, as prophesized to him by an old man. He then learns that she descended from heaven to help him defeat Ōtake-maru.
According to her, the reason that Tamuramaro hasn’t been able to defeat Ōtake-maru is because he possesses a sword called the Sanmyō Sword, which was bestowed upon him by Asura, a fierce demigod. The sword is comprised of three swords, the Daitōren, the Shōtōren, and the Kenmyōren. Together, Suzuka Gozen and Tamurmaro hatch a plan to steal the Sanmyō Sword: Suzuka Gozen will go to Ōtake-maru’s manor and tell him that Tamuramaro is out to kill her. She then asks him for his sword to protect herself, thereby successfully taking the Daitōren and Shōtōren swords. Then, Tamuramaro, hiding nearby, will ambush Ōtake-maru.
Ōtake-maru falls for their plan and, once ambushed, uses his dark powers to replicate himself multiple times. But Tamuramaro is under the divine protection of the Merciful Thousand-Armed Kannon and Bishamonten, god of war. A fierce battle rages between the demon god and Tamuramaro, but at last, our hero is able to defeat Ōtake-maru using the Sohaya Sword.
While the play ends here, the story of Ōtake-maru doesn’t. Despite having been decapitated during the battle at Mt. Suzuka, he becomes a demon god again through the divine power of the Kenmyōren, one of the three swords of the Sanmyō Sword, and once again causes disaster and calamity in the land. Ōtake-maru is feared as one of Japan’s top three yōkai monsters, along with Shuten Dōji and Tamamo-no-Mae, the Nine-Tailed Fox spirit.
About 1,000 years ago, there lived a fearsome demon named Shuten-doji who lived on Mt. Oe-yama in Kyoto. Shuten-doji and his loyal henchmen terrorized the people of Kyoto with every evil deed imaginable. Seeing his people suffering, the Emperor ordered Minamoto-no-Raiko to deal with the demons of Mt. Oe-yama once and for all. Raiko and his men disguise themselves as yamabushi mountain monks and head to Mt. Oe-yama. On their travels there, they stopped at a local shrine to pray for victory over the demons and receive a very special sake from the god of the shrine. The sake, when imbibed by demons, would make them lose their power, and so, Raiko offers it to Shuten-doji to weaken him. Once weakened, Raiko and his men attack, and after an epic battle with the demons, our heroes emerge victorious.
Yamata-no-Orochi (The Eight-Headed Snake Demon)
In the land of Izumo-no-Kuni (current eastern Shimane prefecture), there lived an elderly couple with eight daughters. However, year by year and one by one, their daughters were eaten by a fearsome eight-headed snake demon called Yamata-no-Orochi. Left with only one precious daughter, the elderly couple was in despair over how to save her. It was then that the powerful god, Susano-o, happened upon the elderly couple and their daughter. When he asked why they were so sad, they told him the story, and he agreed to slay the demon in exchange for their daughter's hand in marriage. 'The elderly couple agreed, and Susano-o hatched a plan to slay the demon: he has the elderly couple make a barrel of poisoned sike, then, their daughter stands behind it, so her reflection is visible in the sake. Orochi would then consume the sake, thinking it was the daughter, and be weakened by the poison. Once weakened, Susano-o would attack and triumph over Orochi.
Susano-o’s plan works, and after slaying the demon, a sword falls from its stomach. Susano-o claims the sword as proof of his victory, and is becomes a national treasure.
Mt. Katsuragi-zan/ Tsuchigumo
Long ago in Yamato-no-Kuni (current Nara Prefecture), high on Mt. Katsuragi-zan, there lived an ancient spider demon bent on throwing the world into chaos. When the great general Minamoto-no-Raiko falls terribly ill, the demon seizes on the opportunity to be rid of him. Raiko sends his maid, Koch, to fetch some medicine to cure him, but before she can return, the demon attacks her and possesses her body. The demon then brings Raiko poison, telling him that it is a potent medicine. Raiko takes the medicine, but realizes that Kocho has been possessed by the spider demon and attacks with his sword, a family heirloom with magical powers. The spider demon, bleeding, fees to its lair on Mt. Katsuragi-zan. Raiko entrusts the magical sword to his men and sends them to Mt. Katsuragi-zan to slay the spider demon.
Takiyasha-hime (Lady Takiyasha)
About 1,000 years ago, the aristocrats in Kyoto, the capital of Japan, lived in the lap of luxury while the people living outside of the capital lived in poverty. Angered at this disparity of wealth, General Taira-no-Masakado, a resident of the Kanto area, decided to overthrow the current government and create his own capital province in the east where wealth would be distributed more evenly. However, when the government received word of his plans, they ordered him and his entire family to be killed. This play centers on Takiyasha, the sole survivor of the Taira clan massacre. Seeking revenge, she is gifted dark magical powers by a god and assembles an army to destroy the government forces who murdered her family.
In this performance, the god Sarutahiko-no-Mikoto sweeps the kagura stage clean from east to west, north to south, and above and below. This purifies the stage to welcome the gods from above to enjoy kagura.
The dance is performed by one person. At first, he dances with two swords in his right hand and two more in his left. At the climax of the dance, the dancer takes out another small sword and puts it in his mouth, thus vigorously dancing around with a total of five swords on his body. The highlight of the performance is the extremely acrobatic way in which the dancers perform a forward dance with the small swords in his mouth.
It is said that this dance celebrates the power of the five swords held by the warrior deity who serves the god.
Part of the Shomo Wake-no-Mai, one of the 12 plays of Ato Kagura. Shomo means family estate or family fortune, so the dance is one of dividing up inheritance. Long ago, in the age of myths, God had five sons. The sons began to argue over their inheritance and the argument turned into a physical fight when the fifth prince, Prince Gorō, went to battle against his four brothers. This play represents the four brothers training to fight in unison for the battle to come against Prince Gorō.
A fox with nine golden tails, who had committed many misdeeds in India and Tang China, came to Japan, changed her appearance into a beautiful woman named Tamamo-no-mae, and became the favorite of Toba-in. Gradually, Toba became ill and the world began to fall into disorder. Abe-no Seimei, an Onmyouji, was suspicious of this, and discovered the true identity of Tamamo-no-mae. Tamamo-no-mae transformed into a fox escaped to Nasu Field in Shimotsuke Province, where he was pursued by two archery masters named Kazusa-no-suke and Miura-no-suke, who were also trained in the art of archery. After a fierce struggle, they finally defeated the fox.
- 2023/07/09(SUN) - 2023/09/24(SUN)
- 7/9 (Sun), 7/23 (Sun),
8/13 (Sun), 8/27 (Sun),
9/10 (Sun), 9/24 (Sun)
Doors open at 12:00 13:00 and are scheduled to end around 15:00
- Hiroshima City Kokumin Shukusha Yuki Lodge 2nd Floor Hall
- 12 years old and over 1,000 yen
4 years old and under 12 years old 250 yen
Under 4 years old: free
*Children under 4 can watch on their lap for free, but if they need a seat, they will be charged (250 yen).
Please contact Yuki Lodge.
*Tickets can be reserved in advance, and seat positions are on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 11:00 on the day.
- 2563-1 Tada, Yuki-cho, Saeki-ku, Hiroshima-shi
- Phone Number
Yuki Lodge 0829-85-0111