A Story of the Desperate Struggle to Grow Rice
This Kagura is a story about set in ancient Japan about the peoples' desperate attempt to protect their rice fields from the ravages of a raging, flooded river.
Rice, the staple of the Japanese diet, requires fertile soil, sunshine, and a sustainable, clean water source to flourish.
The eight-headed serpent, Yamata-no-Orochi, symbolizes the mountains and their plentiful reserves of water, as well as the water that flows from the mountains.
Farmers plant rice seedlings in the spring and wait for the autumn, harvest season. However, if the summer is plagued by heavy rains before the harvest season, the rainwater rushes from the mountains and spills into the rice fields, flooding them and ruining the crops. Serious floods like these are being compared to the serpent swallowing a beloved daughter in the story.
Yamata-no-Orochi proceeds as follows: