How Wonderful “Bangaku”Is !

How Wonderful “ Bangaku ” Is !

  Sato Benika

Everyone, do you know “ Bangaku ” ?

I first learned “ Bangaku ” when I was in the 3rd grade. I thought “ Bangaku ” was cool. The first time I danced “ Bangaku ” was i n an elementary school recital. It was called “Tsuyuharai”. “Tsuyuharai” is performed at the beginning of the “ Bangaku ” to drive evil away. I remember seeing the happy faces of the people watching.

I have been doing “ Bangaku ” for seven years. Well, what is “ Bangaku ” ? I wanted to know more about it. And I was very surprised at what I found. “ Bangaku ” has continued for 500 years since the Muromachi period. “What a long histrory ! ”After that, gradually I started to like it more and more.

Every year, I perform in a dedicated offering at the Shinmei Shrine Festival. Have you ever seen my dance? No? Well… let me give you a little introduction. In the evening twilight, I’m dressed in a samurai costume and I wait for my part. Imagine a fantastic atmosphere with a hazy moon between the trees. The old Kagura hall, the lanterns, the high-pitched sound of the beatwood, the dumplings , everything is ready. What a wonderful moment! And finally the start of the “ Bangaku ” is here. Actually, when I was a child, I looked forward to some pocket money or ice cream as a reward. Of course, I'm not dancing for such a reward now.

Recently, I perform in a dance called “ Kumagai Atsumori”. It is a brave dance. We need lots of energy. By the way, “ Wh o is Kumagai Atsumori? ” “How old was he? ” “What kind of memories does this dance hold ? ” My mind was full of many questions. Later, I learned about the sad tale of Genji and Heike . Since then my interest in “ Bangaku ” has opened up even more.

Why do we keep performing “ Bangaku ” ? ”

Japan has become a very modern country. And at the same time, there is also a rich historical culture like “ Bangaku ” . I want to protect this rich culture. In our lives, we are supported by the blessings of nature and the mountains. By performing “ Bangaku ” to the gods, maybe this makes them happy and, in return, they protect our town of Gojome. So it’s important to pass on these ideas to the next generations. But there is a b ig problem. The number of “ Bangaku ” dancers is getting smaller and smaller. The taiko drummers and band are also older people. I’m moved by the efforts of the people who want to leave behind wonderful culture. So for me, I will bring “ Bangaku ” to the people here, and show you the wonders of “ Bangaku ”

So, everyone, h ow about thinking of this speech as the “Tsuyuharai”, the introduction to “ Bangaku ”. And why don't you come and join us?

I'd love to show you how wonderful “ Bangaku ” is.

露払い 熊谷敦盛

“Tsuyuharai”「つゆはらい」 “ Kumagai Atsumori”「熊谷あつもり」





私は,七年間も番楽をやってきました。「じゃあ,番楽っていったいなんだろう」ともっと知りたくなりました。そして,私はとても驚きました。「番楽は室町時代から 500 年も続いているのです。」「なんて歴史が長いんだろう。」そのことを知ってから番楽がもっと好きになっていきました。









※令和元年9月6~7日に開催されました、「五城目第一中学校 文化祭」において、3年佐藤紅花さんが、発表したものを掲載しております。