Memburyu Performance

Memburyu Performance

Memburyu Performance Menburyu is a folk performing art often performed in Kashima city of Saga prefecture. This is a form of goblin mask dance where dancers hang a drum in front of their bodies and dance to the rhythm of gongs and taiko drums. By performing the Menburyu dance, the participants are displaying their gratitude for abundant crops, praying to the gods for rain and the purging of vengeful and evil demons. It is said that Menburyu originates from a story that Nabeshima's soldiers were victorious in battle when they approached their enemy wearing masks while playing the taiko drum and blowing whistles. Today, the Menburyu dances of Kashima city is classified as an Important Intangible Cultural Property of Saga prefecture. With precision and sincerity, the mask craftsmen carve these goblin masks from timber such as camphor, paulownia, hinoki cypress and Nogomi Japanese cedar using only traditional methods. Every Menburyu mask has such life-like expression that they never fail to overwhelm onlookers. Recently there has also been an increasing demand for Menburyu masks for decor purposes.

● Contact:
Division of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Kashima City Government, Tel: +81-954-63-3412

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