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Okina (翁)

Okina has been called “Noh, yet not Noh,” as it is really more a Shinto ritual or prayer song than a Noh performance. Properly referred to as “shiki sanban,” it is performed mainly for the New Year or on felicitous occasions and offers prayer for the peace and security of the nation and a bountiful harvest. Okina is broadly divided into the entrance of the performers, the celebratory words and dance of the white okina, the ground-levelling dance, and the celebratory words and dance of the black elder. As the okina is a special performance that differs from other Noh and kyōgen in that it is in essence a Shinto ritual, all of the performers prepare themselves for the performance through purification by abstaining from eating meat. web site

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