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How Wonderful “Bangaku”Is !

How Wonderful Bangaku Is !

                                     Sato Benika

Everyone, do you know Bangaku ?

I first learned Bangaku when I was in the 3rd grade. I thought Bangaku was cool. The first time I danced Bangaku was i n an elementary school recital. It was called “Tsuyuharai”. “Tsuyuharai” is performed at the beginning of the Bangaku to drive evil away. I remember seeing the happy faces of the people watching.

I have been doing Bangaku for seven years. Well, what is Bangaku ? I wanted to know more about it. And I was very surprised at what I found. Bangaku has continued for 500 years since the Muromachi period. “What a long histrory ! ”After that, gradually I started to like it more and more.  

Every year, I perform in a dedicated offering at the Shinmei Shrine Festival. Have you ever seen my dance? No? Well… let me give you a little introduction. In the evening twilight, I’m dressed in a samurai costume and I wait for my part. Imagine a fantastic atmosphere with a hazy moon between the trees. The old Kagura hall, the lanterns, the high-pitched sound of the beatwood, the dumplings , everything is ready. What a wonderful moment! And finally the start of the Bangaku is here. Actually, when I was a child, I looked forward to some pocket money or ice cream as a reward. Of course, I'm not dancing for such a reward now.  

Recently, I perform in a dance called “ Kumagai Atsumori”. It is a brave dance. We need lots of energy. By the way, “ Wh o is Kumagai Atsumori? ” “How old was he? ” “What kind of memories does this dance hold ? ” My mind was full of many questions. Later, I learned about the sad tale of Genji and Heike . Since then my interest in Bangaku has opened up even more.

Why do we keep performing Bangaku ?

Japan has become a very modern country. And at the same time, there is also a rich historical culture like Bangaku . I want to protect this rich culture. In our lives, we are supported by the blessings of nature and the mountains. By performing Bangaku to the gods, maybe this makes them happy and, in return, they protect our town of Gojome. So it’s important to pass on these ideas to the next generations. But there is a b ig problem. The number of Bangaku dancers is getting smaller and smaller. The taiko drummers and band are also older people. I’m moved by the efforts of the people who want to leave behind wonderful culture. So for me, I will bring Bangaku to the people here, and show you the wonders of Bangaku

So, everyone, h ow about thinking of this speech as the “Tsuyuharai”, the introduction to Bangaku ”. And why don't you come and join us?

I'd love to show you how wonderful Bangaku is.



露払い 熊谷敦盛

“Tsuyuharai”「つゆはらい」          “ Kumagai Atsumori”「熊谷あつもり」







私は,七年間も番楽をやってきました。「じゃあ,番楽っていったいなんだろう」ともっと知りたくなりました。そして,私はとても驚きました。「番楽は室町時代から 500 年も続いているのです。」「なんて歴史が長いんだろう。」そのことを知ってから番楽がもっと好きになっていきました。









※令和元年9月6~7日に開催されました、「五城目第一中学校 文化祭」において、3年佐藤紅花さんが、発表したものを掲載しております。


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