Basic Terms of Shinto 神道基本用語集

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Text A musical performance originating in rice transplanting ceremonies (see ta-asobi). Sa-otome (rice planting maidens) sang songs as they planted young rice shoots. They were accompanied by the music of flutes, drums, and wooden blocks called sasara. Toward the middle of the Heian period, the residents of Kyoto also came to enjoy this performance, and it was incorporated into shrine festivals. Later, professional musicians called dengaku-hôshi appeared, and the entertainment flourished, but it was later superseded in popularity by sarugaku nô. Well-known performances of dengaku may be seen today at festivals at Asakusa Jinja in Tokyo and at Nachi Jinja in Wakayama Prefecture.