Himeshima Bon Odori

Himeshima-mura, Oita


Himeshima-mura, Oita
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14th and 15th of August


Fishery, Tourism, Commerce and Industry Division of Himeshima village

Related Web Site

Himeshima Bon Odori: Village Office of Himeshima


"Bon" is an annual Buddhist event in summer and it is believed that souls of ancestors return to their home during this period. “Bon Odori” is a dance festival held in this period and dedicated to the ancestors for their happiness in the neither world. Himeshima Bon Odori is one of them, and it is said that it originated from “Nenbutsu Odori” of Kamakura period (12 to 14th century A.D.), which people danced while chanting an invocation to the Buddha.

Himeshima Bod Odori is divided into two groups: the traditional dance and the original dance. About 50 dances in all are performed in the site called “Bon tsubo” by dancers from various districts.

The examples of the traditional dance are “Aya Odori”, “Kitsune Odori”, “Sanmarudayu” and “Zeni Saiko” and they are designated as the intangible cultural property by Himeshima village.The most popular and charming one is “Kitsune (fox) Odori”, performed by children painted their face white and wearing a white cloth with a tail to disguise themselves as a fox.

“Aya Odori” is performed by a pair of a man and woman. A man dances intensely by beating with a bamboo stick while a woman dances gracefully. The wonderful contrast between men moving rapidly and women dancing slowly fascinates those who watch it.

Meanwhile, as for the original dance villagers of every districts perform their own humorous dances which they elaborately make every year. Generally speaking, in “Bon Odori” people perform a several dance together, but the Himeshima Bon Odori has a lot more varieties and people change their costume in each dance. The festival combines uniqueness and gracefulness.