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Yokagura-our irrepressible culture


July 22, 2021

What is 夜神楽(Yo-kagura) of Takachiho town?

When I am asked this question, as someone who has just moved to Takachiho, I have to think hard to give an appropriate answer.

-Expressing a dialogue with Mother Nature through performance

Yokagura – a Shinto ritual performing art form that has been performed for over 800 years in Takachiho


This is a village festival held from November to February every year. As of now, 15 villages are performing Yokagura.

It has three meanings: to express gratitude for the autumn harvest, to appease the spirits in winter, and to celebrate the coming of spring.

The people who perform, play the flutes and beat the drums are all locals.

The farmer, who was laughing next to me earlier, becomes a god when he enters the sacred space called 神庭(Ko-niwa).

It is both divine and mysterious to watch them perform the 33 performances throughout the night. As it is a village festival, all the people in the village come together to prepare for it.

In an age when there was no YouTube or social networking sites, this is an irreplaceable culture where everything has been handed down from person to person.


I moved to Takachiho to discover the charm of this tradition.
I believe that there is something here that we, modern people, have forgotten.

Yo-Kagura is performed 365 days a year from 20:00 to 21:00 at Takachiho Shrine.

Although it is a sightseeing kagura, you can touch the mysterious belief of life.

If you have any chance to visit Takachiho, please drop by.

To make a great experience in Takachiho town with this interesting culture, we are preparing a tour where you can know and enjoy the root of this traditional culture. The official launch is coming this spring.


“What is it that we should really care about?”

To answer this question, I am traveling all over Takachiho today.