Nakae Iwato Kagura(中江岩戸神楽) is a ritual music and dance performed in Namino, Aso City, and is held on the first Sunday of every April through November (except October).

Kagura is a song and dance performed to dedicate to the gods in Shinto festivals and Shinto rituals. There is one story in Kojiki and Nihonshoki, Japanese history books. When Amaterasu, the god of the sun, who was angered by the wild behavior of her younger brother Susanoo, hid in a cave and the world was shrouded in darkness, Amenouzume, the god of entertainment, performed a joyous dance in front of the cave. Amaterasu, intrigued by the liveliness of the performance, came out of it and light returned to this world. It is said that the dance at this time was the origin of Kagura performance.

Nakae Iwato Kagura has been passed down for more than 250 years at the Hagi Shrine in the area. This area is a small community with only 20 or so households. In the past, only the eldest son of each family was allowed to dance in the Kagura. However, due to the declining birth rate, Kagura club has been formed at the local elementary school, and many children in the community are now learning the perfomance.

Performances are held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. It must be very strenuous and demanding to play instruments and dance kagura continuously, but it is very powerful and exciting. Above all, all the young people on stage look like they are having a lot of fun, which we can feel and want to support them. It takes a lot of effort to pass on traditional performing arts, but the young people of Namino practice with pride.

⭐️Nakae Iwato Kagura(中江岩戸神楽)

⭐️If you want to know about Kojiki(Japanese history book), check the article below