The town of Sumita in Kesen District
Forests and Forestry- Sumita, the town that aims for the best town planning in Japan. Since the farmers and members of the Sumita Minpaku Association have worked to set up 40 lodging accommodations, it is possible to stay overnight on company training trips, educational travel or sight-seeing, and to come into contact with the warmth of people found in the countryside and the abundant country lifestyle in a town rich with nature, including the waterfall Rokando, Mount Goyo, the plateau lands of Taneyamagahara, and the clear streams of the Kesen river.
Also, this town aims to be the number- one town in Japan for forests and forestry, since they have abundant natural resources of forests and lumber processing facilities. They are also working towards strategies to counter global warming, aiming for a cyclical society with forests as its base, including the advancement of using wood-based Bio-mass energy and pellets that make use of the abundant natural resources of the forests.
Kofugane Kagura, in the Town of Sumita
It is said that the Kofugane Kagura began when Oikawa Jusaku, who had learned the Southern style of Kagura passed down in the Nagano small village of Otomo, Tono, moved to Kofugane (in Setamai, Kesen) in 1905 and taught the dance that he knew at the request of those in the small village of Kofugane.
This Kagura was passed down by the effort of the village people to people in the region as one of few entertainments at that time, which led to the birth of the Kofugane Kagura, which remained for further generations. Taking up the helm for the so-called Southern Kagura, It is a dance of the common folk, dramatized and mixing tradition, history and Kyogen theatre while including aspects of the Yamabushi Kagura.
It petered out temporarily during the war, but it was brought back in 1955 by the revitalization efforts of young people. The Preservation Society for Kofugane’s Kumano Shrine Kagura was established in January 1992.
The Preservation Society for Kofugane’s Kumano Shrine Kagura