Iwami Kagura: Heroes and Demons
The coastal region of Shimane is a land steeped in Shinto mythology and significance, said to be the place where all the gods and deities gathered once a year in conference.
It is also the birthplace of one of the most dynamic and vibrant forms of Japanese ritual theatre—Iwami Kagura.
Masked dancers in colourful costumes take on the role of Shinto gods, battling eight-headed demon snakes and other monsters in Japanese mythology, accompanied by drum beats, clanging cymbals and soaring bamboo flutes.
For generation upon generation, this folk art is practiced by ordinary townspeople and villagers in the autumn, to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.
Infused with riveting drama and rich cultural history, Iwami Kagura takes audiences to a world of legend where gods and monsters walked the earth.
Can't get enough? Watch Iwami Kagura: Slaying of the Eight-Headed Serpent
Unravelling an ancient performing art form that brings to life Japanese myths and legends – its origins and music, the story and spectacle.