Kagura dance performances in Hiroshima 広島の神楽踊り

Hiroshima in dance


Hiroshima is one of the places in Japan where the tradition of kagura dances has remained very strong. Costumed dancers swirl around the city and throughout the prefecture, bringing the streets to life with these Shinto dances said to be over a millennium old. Come and move with this Japan of yesteryear!



Kagura, before Kabuki, before Noh

Kagura , which literally means "entertainment of the gods", is a Shinto dance whose origins are believed to date back to the earliest writings of Japan. Indeed, it is described in the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki how Ame no uzume, the deity of gaiety and good humor, performed a dance in order to convince the sun goddess Amaterasu to come out of her cave . This would be the mythological origin of the kagura .

Read also: Shintoism

Formerly, the kagura was a dance which was practiced in front of the imperial court and in the Shinto temples, it is the mikagura .


Une représentation de danse kagura, à Takachiho.

A performance of kagura dance, in Takachiho.

Takachiho Tourism Office


Hiroshima, a center of Kagura

Kagura continues to flourish in the neighboring areas of Shimane and Hiroshima, especially north of Hiroshima City at Kagura-Monzen-Toji-Mura. The district of this village has 22 kagura troupes and every weekend performances are held outside the city or in theatres, amphitheaters . Visitors also have access to descriptions and explanations in English on the themes covered by the kagura dances. A welcome move, as once caught up in the whirlwind of scary demon masks, shiny costumes and weaponry , the foreign tourist could easily get lost.


Ikari Jinja in Hiroshima

Representation of kagura at the Ikari-jinja shrine in Hiroshima.


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