IWAMI KAGURA PERFORMANCE
Date Venue Entry
July 17, 18, 19, 2007 Puri, Konark, Bhubaneswar (Orissa) Open
January 21, 22, 2008 Gateway of India, Mumbai Open
January 24, 2008 Music Academy, Chennai Open

The origins of Iwami Kagura are unclear, but it is believed that performances began in Iwami region (west part of Shimane Prefecture) in the early part of the Edo Period. Iwami Kagura is a series of dances that are performed as a form of prayer to gods, and are accompanied by flutes, drums, and hand clapping. Originally only Shinto priests performed Iwami Kagura but in the Meiji Period ordinary townspeople began to perform on such occasions as annual festivals, various public events, and celebrations. It has since become an essential part of the regionís folk art and entertainment. There are different forms of kagura in many parts of Japan, but Iwami Kagura is distinguished by the gorgeous and heavy costumes the performers wear, which are manually sewn with gold and silver threads, as well as by its last tempo known as "hacchoshi", 8-beat rhythm.