Kagura Village

May 31st, 2012By Category: Culture, Travel

Hey people! Kagura is amazing, it is fun, and traditional.  Translated from Japanese, it is “God Entertainment” and is a Shinto based Japanese theater. The Kagura that I went to go see was based in Hiroshima Prefecture, at a place called Kagura Village.  The theme of this post is Kagura Village, so let’s get started.

Here is the brochure that I received upon entrance to the “Kagura Dome” as it was called.  I put the brochure on a tatami mat (the provided seating) if you are curious.

 

The entrance to the Kagura village.  The tiling on the roof is traditional, and the entrance is quaint, Japanese style.

 

 

A museum of sorts in Kagura village, ropes have a very symbolic meaning in Shintoism.  In the past ropes like these were used in temples to seal demons, or spirits.  The rope dragon to the right is incredibly cool.

 

 

These are some traditional Kagura Masks, that portray Oni, or demons.  Demons are a huge part of Kagura performances and you are almost assured of seeing them if you plan to to see Kagura.  The masks are quite fierce looking, or more plainly spoken, extremely badass.

 

 

Mannequins, although quite realistic.  The kimino that they are wearing are things of beauty, and super shiny. More importantly, something to note in this picture, is that the woman on the right looks incredibly masculine, there is a reason for that.  Kagura is traditionally men only, and so men will dress as women to play the roles, the masks that they use can be quite comical.

 

 

Some traditional Kagura paintings, the colors are absolutely fantastic, I wish I had a better camera to give the picture justice.

 

 

Again, some absolutely beautiful artwork. The whites rising into mist, etc.  stunning.

 

 

And much much more Kagura art.

 

 

Have you ever heard of traditional Chinese medicine?  Well, it is still popular in Japan in certain circles, here are snakes.  Snakes are apparently used to treat skin diseases, pain, and intestinal hemorrhage, so there’s that.

 

 

Other Chinese medicinals, lemons, and other goodies.

 

 

Some cool Kagura styled snacks, available at the gift shop.

 

 

Kagura promoted wine, which carries the Miyoshi label which is a famous brand in Hiroshima.  I actually visited the winery this last Sunday, and you will have my full opinion on that in the near future. As for now, I thought that this was a pretty awesome poster for wine.

 

 

Ok, everyone, I have some great videos that I took of two different Kagura performances that I will start uploading, I want to have to ancient Japanese translated into English and hardsubbed so that all my viewers will understand so it might take a while, but it is coming! Also, I got attacked by a demon while I was filming, no joke.  He jumped off the stage and attacked me. It is on film, so stay tuned.

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Author of this article

Kenji deVries

Kenji deVries is a blogger and traveler, currently a student at Doshisha University majoring in Global Communication. He was born in the US but eventually moved with his family to places like Laos, Thailand and Kenya. Having great interests in Japan's history and rich culture, he moved to Japan and first lived in Hiroshima, studied in a Japanese high school and eventually moved to Kyoto to continue his studies.

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