Demachi Children’s Kabuki Hikiyama
During the spring festival on April 29th and 30th held by Demachi Shinmeigu Shrine, children's kabuki is performed on three "hikiyama" festival floats.
Each of the palace-style floats has a stage where elementary school students in gorgeous costumes serve as actors in kabuki dramas. The tradition is over 200 years old.
The child actors are first ritually purified at the Shinmeigu Shrine. This is believed to allow them to serve as "yorishiro" (vessels) for the spirits of gods. The children are not allowed to put their feet on the ground for the two days of the festival. Whenever they move to another location, they ride on the shoulders of adults.
Of the three hikiyama floats, the oldest was built in 1789. All of the floats were built with an ingenious structure that has no nails or clamps.
In the past, the floats were dismantled at the end of each festival, with their parts placed in boxes and stored with great care. Now, the three floats are held as permanent exhibits at the Tonami Children's Kabuki Hikiyama Hall.
|Name||Demachi Children’s Kabuki Hikiyama|
|Designation level||Prefecture||Designation classification||Intangible Folk Cultural Property|
|Type||Designation/registration day||February 24, 1994|
|Ownership/management||Tonami Children's Kabuki Hikiyama Promotion Association||Member|