“Furyu Dances: Artistic Splendor and Eternal Bonds”
Furyu Dances are folk performing arts that reflect an artistic splendor with their refined music and elaborate costumes and props. There are a wide variety of such traditional dances throughout Japan. This video focuses on the lively Onikenbai (literally “Demon Sword Dance”), a tradition that is handed down in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture.
Due to Onikenbai’s notable popularity in Kitakami, the city is known as “the city of ‘oni’ (demons).” Onikenbai is passionately loved by the local community and is frequently performed throughout the year at weddings, celebrations for the construction of new buildings, and other special events. Onikenbai has been handed down here for many years. But why, you might ask, are demons, symbols of evil and horror, so loved by the people of Kitakami, and why have they become the proud tradition of the region? This video unravels the history of Onikenbai, introduces the fascination that local people have with it, and attempts to explain the meaning of these oni demons that dance in the Tohoku region of northeast Japan.
Presented by: The Japan Foundation (JF) (https://www.jpf.go.jp/e/)
Performers: FUTAGO ONIKENBAI
Additional Materials: NATIONAL DIET LIBRARY’S DIGITAL LIBRARY COLLECTIONS, NHK
Supervision: HYOKI Satoru
Video Image Production: NHK ENTERPRISES, INC.
Video Image Producer: HAMANO Takahiro, TAKAKI Eiji
Video Image Director: YASUMOTO Koji
English Translation: Richard EMMERT
Chinese Translation (Simplified): Hanqing ZUO
Chinese Translation (Traditional): Yunhsien LIANG
French Translation: NAKAJIMA Naoko
Indonesian Translation: Dewi ANGGRAENI
Russian Translation: Tatiana SOKOLOVA DELUSINA
Spanish Translation: Mauricio MARTINEZ (https://www.japonartesescenicas.org)
© The Japan Foundation (JF) All Rights Reserved
End date of distribution: 3/3/2027