Before Nogaku theatre was completely formed, the style and spirit of Hayachine Kagura Dance was handed down from teacher to student. The two schools of Hayachine Kagura Dance, Otsugunai and Take, continue to delight audiences.
Hayachine Kagura Dance is the collective term for Otsugunai Kagura and Take Kagura, and was recognized as an important national cultural asset in 1976. It is said to have more than 500 years of history. Although both schools have about 40 styles of dances with the same or similar titles, their dances are utterly different. Otsugunai is based on seven beats and its fluent and delicate style suits female roles. On the other hand, Take is based on five beats and its dynamic style suits male roles. Their Mountain God masks are also different, as the mouth for Otsugunai is open and the one for Take is closed. In spite of these differences, people often say the schools are inextricably linked.
Hayachine Kagura Dance Calendar
- January 2
- first day of the year for Otsugunai Kagura Dance
- January 3
- first day of the year for Take Kagura Dance
- July 31
- the eve of Hayachine Shrine Annual Festival)
- August 1
- Hayachine Shrine Annual Festival
- Otsugunai Shrine Annual Festival
- September 23
- Local Entertainment Festival
- the third Sunday of December
- final day of the year for Otsugunai Kagura Dance
- December 17th
- final day of the year for Take Kagura Dance
Otsugunai Kagura Dance
This kagura is dedicated to the Otsugunai Shrine, which has a book about this dance published in 1488.
Take Kagura Dance
This style of kagura is dedicated to the Hayachine Shrine, which has a gongen sama mask (lion mask) made in 1595.
The dynamic Deer Dance is widely recognized as the representative local performing art of Iwate. Enjoy the beat of drums and the dramatic action of the white bamboo horns, sasara.
Many deer dance teams belong to the Kasuga school, which is a branch of Kasuga Ochiai Deer Dance. They have a quiet and calm dancing style.
The Kanazu school, based in Oshu City (old Esashi City), has a dynamic dancing style compared to the Kasuga school. Hanamaki has its own Kanatsu team.