Sep 03, 2018 Culture Miyajima

Miyajima’s Evening Dance Event on Obon Nights, Let’s Make a Circle

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What Is Miyajima’s Evening Dance?

This dance is recognized as an intangible cultural property of Hatsukaichi city. It includes elements of court dance and music performed since long ago at Itsukushima Shrine. You take three steps forwards, one step back, then slowly bring both your hands in front of you and press them together. Through this dance, you express your respect for the dead.For the formal dress of this dance, people would put on braided hats, hide their faces, and wear black crested garments, but now the dress style is free. Ordinary tourists are welcome to participate in the event.

There’s also a dance called “suzume odori” (sparrow dance), which uses the same song as Miyajima’s Evening Dance. With this dance, dancers in white yukata join the usual dancers wearing black crested garments. The dancers in yukata use their braided hats like swallows’ beaks, and act like they are eating food off the ground during the dance. The choreography differs from that of the usual dancers, so please be sure to check out the difference.

A Look at the Event

 

The Miyajima’s Evening Dance begins after the sun sets and lanterns are lit, at around 7:30pm. It becomes completely dark at this time, and many tourists gather at Mikasa-no-hama beach, the venue for the event.

It Starts with “Nenbutsu Odori”

Nenbutsu odori dance shows respect for the dead through Buddhist prayers. Hiroshima just experienced a large scale disaster due to heavy rain in July 2018, so the event began with a moment of silence and a dance in respect for victims of the disaster. This dance is held entirely by the efforts of the Miyajima Association for the Preservation of Performing Arts. They present a slow dance together with live songs and musical accompaniment.

The Local Children Join in Too!

 

The Miyajima’s Evening Dance is an event where local people come together. Children from a local kindergarten in Miyajima performed an “Anpanman” dance they had practiced, and really brought life to the venue.

Both domestic and international tourists can also freely participate. You could tell that everyone was having fun during the “wooden ladle dance,” in which you hold Miyajima’s famous product, the wooden ladle, in both hands. Tourists joined in and learned the dance steps from locals.

In contrast to its liveliness during the day, the sightseeing area is very quiet after dark. Still, in a corner of Mikasa-no-hama, light from a watchtower shines brilliantly, and a hint of excitement carries on until late at night.

Anyone Can Jump Right in and Participate! the Miyajima Event to Celebrate Obon

Anyone can participate, regardless of age or where they’re from. Please join in if you visit Miyajima during the Obon period!

Event Information

Miyajima’s Evening Dance
Dte Middle of August
From 7:30pm
Address Mikasa-no-hama beach
*Road approaching Itsukushima Shrine
Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi-shi (map)
Website Official Website
Tripadvisor
Cost  Free

 

Learn How to Access :  3 Ways How to Access Miyajima from Hiroshima City