Basic Terms of Shinto 神道基本用語集

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Text A performance of classical ceremonial music and dance. Its origin is attributed to a performance by the heavenly gods to persuade Amaterasu Ômikami, the Sun Goddess, to come out of the cave where she had hidden herself. Thus the performance serves to pacify, console, and give pleasure to a deity. The tradition of the kagura preserved at the imperial court has its roots in antiquity. The words and music are of great classical value, and the solemn ceremony continues throughout the night. At shrines, kagura is performed by miko (priestesses). There is also a popular form of kagura called sato-kagura which is performed locally for a deity. Sato-kagura also gave rise to professional artists. Kagura today includes performances of dance dramas of 35 scenes from mythology.