` An Introduction to Japanese Kagura

An Introduction to Japanese Kagura

Join us for a lecture on kagura, given by Professor Terence Lancashire of Osaka Ohtani University.

From ancient times, various traditional entertainments have been created and evolved in Japan’s long history. These range from the court ensemble of gagaku to the theatre of noh, kabuki and puppetry and various instrumental ensembles including the three stringed shamisen and 13 stringed koto. In contrast to these urban forms there are a wide variety of folk performing arts which includes the shrine ritual entertainment of kagura.

Kagura, a ritual entertainment performed primarily in Shinto shrines, is one of the five main categories of Japanese folk performing arts as defined by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Having its origins in the mythical dance of the goddess Ame no Uzume no Mikoto before a cave in which the sun goddess, Amaterasu Omikami, has hidden herself, kagura has been realised in various forms of entertainment over its long history. The oldest is the dance of miko, shrine maidens. But through the course of its history, it has also developed into theatrical representations of ancient Japanese myths and historical episodes.

Through this special talk, which will provide an overview of Japanese folk performing arts, you will discover the historical background and characteristics of this time-honoured traditional art, as well as learn how the custom has stood the test of time leading up to present day.

In collaboration with: National Museum Cardiff, The British Libraly




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