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On-matsuri-sarugaku (御祭猿楽)

A type of Sarugaku performed at the Wakamiya Festival at Wakamiya Shrine, an auxiliary shrine to Kasuga-Taisha in Nara Prefecture. Several kinds of performing arts are staged in the festival. It is said that the first play was performed in 1136, in the late Heian era, when the then emperor’s chief adviser, Fujiwara no Tadamichi, held a ceremony to bring floods and famine under control in Yamato Province (currently Nara Prefecture). During the Muromachi era, it was the duty of the four Yamato Sarugaku schools to give a performance at the festival. In 1662, after the festival went into decline, the scale was reduced and it was decided that two of the three schools other than the Kanze would take turns dedicating a public presentation. Nowadays, the performance is offered in the form resuscitated in 1946, based on the style of the turbulent early Meiji era, with only the Konparu School giving a performance. The festival features "Kaikō," "Yumiya-no-tachiai" and "Mikasa-fūryū," which are performed played under the "Yōgō-no-matsu" pine tree near the first torii; and "Okina (Kagurashiki)," performed at Otabisho (literally, "the trip place"). Several performances are also held the following day (Gonichi-no-noh).

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