Kanazu Kagura “Torikomai” (Chicken Dance)
The “Naganakidori” (a long-singing chicken) helped to call the goddess Amaterasu back to the outside from her seclusion in the cave of heaven and to return peace and light to the world. The Kanazu Kagura Club’s Misaki Ota is continuing to work towards the handing down of this dance with the intention of enabling “everyone to bring back a cheerful and calm lifestyle.”
The town of Otsuchi in Kamiheigun, Iwate Prefecture is located in the eastern part of Iwate prefecture in approximately the center of the Rikuchu Coastal National Park. Otsuchi is surrounded by the Kitakami mountains, has the Ria coast on one side, and is also blessed with a natural environment such as the prosperous Sanriku fishing grounds.
Damage Suffered from the Great East Japan Earthquake
As they lost many precious lives, the town’s buildings, and basic industries such as fishing due to the tsunami and following fires from the Great East Japan Earthquake, the damage suffered in Otsuchi was great even in comparison with other earthquake-stricken areas in Tohoku- With a population of about 16,000 people, about 1,300 people and approximately 10 percent of the population either passed away or went missing due to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Even now, scars from the tsunami are left all over the town.
Otsuchi Festival is the annual festival of Otsuchi Inari shrine and Kozuchi shrine, and it is held on the 3rd Saturday and Sunday of September every year. Beginning with the(Kanazu Kagura Club’s)that we learned this time, there are also participating town organizations of Mikoshi (A Shrine carried into the streets), Shishi Odori (Deer Dance), Kagura, Toramai (Tiger Dance), Shichifukujin (The Seven Gods of Good Fortune), Torikomai (Chicken Dance), and Te Odori (Dance with the Hands). They parade merrily through the town, and it is such a lively festival that a multitude of onlookers squeeze in along the route.