Agriculturally themed kabuki has been performed for over 280 years continuously from the mid-Edo era, as a dedication to the Kuromori Hie Shrine in Sakata city. Kuromori kabuki is performed for the gods within the shrine during the extreme cold of February to coincide with the Lunar New Year, and as such it is also referred to as “The dance in snow” or “The cold dance”. It is considered to be one of the nation’s best with its grand scale and variety of performances, and has been designated as one of Yamagata’s prefectural intangible folklore cultural assets.
The youth kabuki group, made up of local children from Kuromori Elementary School, undergoes instruction once a week from October in preparation for the February performance.
Kuromori kabuki is fostering many young performers to carry on the tradition, as most national arts groups are facing an aging population of performers. The kabuki group has received high praise from traditional performing arts researchers for nurturing so many young successors.
Kuromori Community Center, Sakata City 0234-92-2255
|Production||Yamagata Prefecture Lifelong Learning Culture Foundation|