AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

Matsuri da! (139): Drunken elegance

Posted by ampontan on Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DID you get well and truly sloshed over the long weekend that included Christmas Eve and Christmas? The percentage of Japanese slumped face down on the bar or snoring in their easy chairs was probably no larger than it would be for any other weekend, however. Christmas is a working day here, unless it falls on Saturday or Sunday.

drunken elegance

Besides, not everyone in this part of the world behaves badly when they redline on liquor. In fact, there’s a certain tradition of drunken elegance that’s been turned into a religious ritual and dance. It’s called the konju, which originated as an imitation of the movements of some Chinese guy in ancient times who got a snootful and started rambling. It arrived in Japan in 736, but doesn’t survive in its original form. That’s because it was modified during the reign of the Emperor Ninmyo, which places it somewhere in the early to mid-Eighth Century.

The dance is so elegant, in fact, it’s often performed at Shinto ceremonies throughout Japan. One example was its presentation at the Bugaku festival of the Hodaka Shinto shrine in Matsumoto, Nagano. The folks at the Hodaka shrine thought it would be fun to couple a traditional dance festival with their Daisengu Festival, which rolls around once every 20 years. The konju was part of the choreography.

The performance was held at a site just as elegant for its beauty. The backdrop was the 3,190-meter-high Mt. Okuhodaka in the Japanese Alps. The stage was placed next to a bridge and a pond.

Come clean, now — that’s not how you behaved at the office Christmas party, was it?

Here’s a performance of the dance at a different time and different place. He does look a bit ripped, doesn’t he?

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2 Responses to “Matsuri da! (139): Drunken elegance”

  1. Camphortree said

    ビルさん
    一人で逝ってしまわれたのですか!クリスマスと新年を前に奥様を一人残して、あなた悪い人です!
    奥様ごめんなさい、ご主人様の悪口を言ってしまって。奥様の深い悲しみを和らげる事には何の役にも立たないけど、在米の私もモニターのこちら側で泣いています。書きながら涙が止まりません。どうか奥様の涙の一粒でも分ちあわせて下さい。
    奥様のご主人様は偉大な方でした。ついこの間までイケズで素敵な御主人さまだった事でしょうに!
    ビルさん、日本の正しい姿を発信して下さって長い間、本当にありがとうございました。ああ、どんな感謝の言葉も足りない。ありがとう、ありがとう。
    ビルさん、どうか天国で安らかにお休み下さい。
         

  2. Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes
    that make the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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