Dengaku is a traditional ritual music and a dance performance which came into existence around the Heian era (794-1185). The origins are still unknown but some say it started as a folk dance accompanied by rice planting. Although the Dengaku had almost been forgotten, a renowned Kyogen (a traditional comical theatre) performer revived it in modern times here in Yamashiro Onsen. It’s called Daidengaku which literally means a ‘big dengaku’. Held every year in mid-summer, the festival includes both local performers and famous actors, all of them fantastically dressed. The mystical flute music and bonfires complement their flamboyant costumes and lively dancing.
Date: Late July-Early Aug. (Saturday and Sunday)
Venue: At the foot of Hatori Shrine in Yamashiro Onsen