Local Heritage Event and Live Kabuki Performance at Twilight [Festival (Fukushima)]
Festival Event name: Hinoemata Kabuki
Prefecture: Fukushima Prefecture
Area Name: Hinoematamura
More than 270 years of history, kabuki for dedication
Hinoemata Hinoematamura is one of Japan leading high-rise wetlands, “Oze National Park”, spanning four prefectures: Fukushima, Gunma, Niigata and Tochigi. It is known as the gateway from the Fukushima side. In this village blessed with abundant nature, the “Hinoemata Kabuki” has continued continuously since the Edo period. During the festival, we have entertained the villagers with the dedication of kabuki as a tribute to God. It is not clear when it was started, but it is believed that there are more than 270 years of history in existing materials, since there are still joruri books that have been purchased 270 years ago.
The real kabuki is all handmade by the villagers!
The Hinoemata Kabuki is a traditional performing art that has been handed down from the performers to the backstage, from parents to children, from their children to grandchildren. There are eleven titles in total, and not to mention art skills, but also the spirit and feelings. As a valuable peasant performing arts and rural kabuki that have been carried over to the present day, as well as gaining attention as a layman, performing arts and acting are highly valued, and many spectators visit the village during the performance.It is also designated as an important intangible folk cultural property of Fukushima prefecture.
“Maiden” was built by the villagers ‘ thoughts
The stage where kabuki is performed is made of a thatched roof and a wooden helmet.It is called “Maiden” in the hometown, and it is designated as an important tangible folk cultural property of the country. Kabuki was originally staged to dedicate to the local gods.The stage is built towards the shrine and the stone steps on the slopes to the shrine are the natural bleachers.In fact, this stage was once destroyed in the Great Fire of 1893 and rebuilt in 1897. It is thought that villagers combined power and made it up in a poor life though it was in a tremendous damage of laid flat fire. There is also a shrine precinct, it is said to be a power spot.
Outdoor appreciation that is drawn into the world of kabuki
The kabuki performance begins at dusk.While the twilight is deepening, you can feel the awe of the divine nature surrounded by it. When the area is covered with darkness, only the stage appears to emerge, and it seems to be sucked into the world of kabuki.I felt like I had a little time trip when I thought that the old people were watching kabuki outside in this way.Seats are served on a first-come, on-arrival basis, in rainy weather unless it rains heavily.In addition to the festivals in May and August, there are also performances for tourists in September.
A tradition hall to know more deeply hinoemata Kabuki
In the village, there is the hinoemata of the Kabuki Tradition Hall “Chiba House” which was made for villagers and tourists to deepen understanding of Hinoemata kabuki, and to leave a valuable material etc.The name of the house of Chiba was given in honor of the group which had preserved this kabuki for a long time, and “House of Chiba Hana-za”. On-site, you will see a panel of repertoire, costumes and props. There are many things that have been passed down through the generations, and you can learn the wonders of kabuki Hinoemata.
Festival Event name Hinoemata Kabuki
Date and time May 12, August 18, 1st Saturday of September
Venue Hinoemata Hinoematamura
Tel. 0241-75-2432 (hinoemata-Onsen Tourist Association of Oze)
Access Tobu Railway from the Aizu Kogen station, about 70 minutes by Aizu Bus and hinoemata from Oze Onsen