Shinto music

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Shinto music is the ceremonial and festive music of Shinto (神道?), the native religion of Japan. Its origin myth is the erotic dance of Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto which lured Amaterasu from her cave.[1]


Kagura (神楽?) or 'entertainment of the gods' includes music, dance and poetry and comprises mi-kagura of the court, o-kagura of major shrines such as Ise Jingū, and village sato-kagura.[2]


The repertoire includes eight forms that may be traced back to the eighth century: kagura-uta (kagura songs), azuma asobi (eastern entertainment), kume-uta (palace guard songs) ō-uta (big songs), onaibi-uta (night duty songs), ruika (funeral songs), ta-uta (field songs), and yamato-uta (Yamato songs).[2]


Instruments include the wagon (和琴?), kagura-bue (神楽笛?), hichiriki (篳篥?), suzu (?), tsuzumi (?), and shakubyōshi (笏拍子?) clappers. In local festivals the kane (?), binzasara (編木?), and taiko (太鼓?) may also be found.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sadie, Stanley (ed.) (2001). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians XII.850f. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-517067-2. 
  2. ^ a b c Malm, William P. (2000). Traditional Japanese Music and Musical Instruments. Kodansha. pp. 47–65. ISBN 4-7700-2395-2.