What is Iwami-Kagura?

 This is an introduction to the vivid and dynamic world of Iwami-Kagura, the dance and musical performances of ancient Japanese myths.

 The following introductory video clip gives you a brief experience of Iwami-Kagura.

 Kagura is the traditional sacred service dance (called Kagura-Mai) to the God/Goddess of the local Shinto shrine during annual rice-crop growth festivities.

 The traditional Shinto ritual ceremony takes place at the main alter of the shrine during the day by Shinto priests and female attendants who perform a simple yet graceful sacred service dance called Mai. Then, a series of Iwami-Kagura dance episodes(or stories) follows this ceremony and runs on the Kagura-Den (sacred stage) in the precincts of the shrine from early night to dawn.

 Each episode is vividly orchestrated by dynamic drum beats and beautiful nostalgic melodies of the bamboo flute accompanied by stimulating metal sounds of small brass hand-claps. A series of episodes is performed by a group of 15 to 30 members of local villagers or town people of various professions such as rice growing farmers, fishermen, salary men, store keepers and truck drivers.