Momiji-gari(Autumn Foliage Viewing)


This Kagura performance illustrates how much the climates and seasons of Japan enrich the hearts of the Japanese people.
Japan has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Cold winters are followed by warm springs, bringing the beautiful pale pink and white cherry blossoms. Each year, small parties are held under the cherry blossoms trees, called "hanami" (cherry blossom viewing parties).

Hot and humid summers give way to crisp autumns and their vibrant red maple leaves, or "momiji." Similar to hanami, small gatherings are also held under the maple leaves called "momiji-gari" (autumn foliage viewing parties).

The Kagura program "Momiji-gari" proceeds as follows:

  1. The Shogun, Taira-no-Koremochi, sets out to see the autumn foliage
  2. Koremochi loses his way on Mt. Togakushi, so he asks a princess he meets for directions. However, he is entranced by the beauty of the deep red maple leaves and joins the princess' momiji-gari
  3. Drunk on a little too much sake, Koremochi collapses, having fallen prey to the evil magic of the princess, who is actually a demon in disguise. But just as Koremochi was about to be devoured by the demon, a god appears and saves his life
  4. After a fierce and raging battle, the demon is defeated