Geihoku Kagura 芸北神楽

   Geihoku region is located in the Northern Hiroshima Prefecture neighboring the Southern region of Shimane Prefecture. Geihoku Kagura’s origin is the Kagura of Iwami region that has its long active history since hundreds of years ago, but after World War II, Shinto rituals experienced some restrictions, Geihoku region’s Kagura was modified for its survival.

Current Geihoku Kagura actors/dancers do not wear masks, the form so-called “Sumen” at Iwami Kagura, and they wear Kabuki-like stage makeup. The stories are also about famous Samurai war lords from Heian period and thereafter instead of Japanese indigenous legends. The strong perseverance and passion for the continuation of Geihoku Kagura was preserved even with the format modification. Now, there are about 125 Geihoku Kagura troupes active in the region. Observing the activities of Iwami Kagura, with a sense of rivalry,

Geihoku Kagura groups have been trying to preserve the classic spirit as well as venturing into new formats such as including more of the entertainment elements.

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