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2009 September 12

Iwami Kagura is a kind of art form unique to this area of Japan. Originally performed as religious rituals – Iwami, 石見 “rock-viewing”, referring to my region of Shimane prefecture + Kagura, 神楽 “gods’ enjoyment”- the lavish costumes and fast-paced music now serve as a distinctive kind of theater for the masses. This performance took place during a small summer festival in front of the Hamada train station, in an area known as “Donchichi Town” (“donchichi” being child’s onomatopoiea for the sound of the drums in Iwami Kagura). I took brief videos throughout the final performance, Orochi (although my first few videos did not come out well, so this series starts mid-production). This is actually Orochi times two – there are two Susanoos, and Orochi has 16 heads!

The legend of Orochi:

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