Shitara-Town Damine Dengaku Festival
Date : 02/09/2019
A shrine ritual held since the Edo period to pray for a good harvest
This ritual is held annually at the Damine Kannon Temple, and consists of three parts - Hiru Dengaku (Afternoon), Yoru Dengaku (Night) and Asa Dengaku (Morning). The most distinguishing feature is Yoru Dengaku, a celebration held in anticipation of a good harvest. Starting from a week prior to the festival, the "Dengakushu", townspeople who perform the ritual, undergo "mizugori" (cold water splashes to cleanse bad spirits from the body) and eat separately from their families, all to cleanse body and mind. Held mainly to pray for abundant harvest, this folkloric art features extensive performance displays of kagura and ta-asobi movements, and is appointed an Important Intangible Folk Culture Heritage of Japan, registered as "The Dengaku of Okumikawa", together with the dengaku of Horaiji Temple and Kurosawa.