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Yama-age Event (Yama-age Festival)

January 16, 2015

Yama-age Event is a traditional event held since 450 years ago in Karasuyama city located in Tochigi Prefecture, where the largest outdoor Kabuki play in Japan can be seen.
The festival originated in 1560 (Third year of Eiroku era), when Nasu Suketane who was the lord of Karasuyama castle enshrined Gozu Tenno (牛頭天王) as a deity in Yakumo shrine (八雲神社) in order to pray for the land’s peace, good harvest and no more plagues.

In the early days of Yama-age Event, entertainments for dedication such as Sumo and Kagurajishi (lion dance) were performed. During Kan-ei era (1661-1672), Kyogen drama were added to the event, and in Horeki era (1771-1763), Kabuki dance was adopted. The adoption of Kabuki dance changed the stage settings and sceneries to large-scale and gorgeous one as seen today. At the end of Edo era (17c), current style of outdoor Kabuki play was established.

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Yama-age Event (Yama-age Festival)



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