What is Shinto Music?

Shinto music is the ceremonial and festive music of Shinto (神道), the native religion of Japan. Its origin myth is the erotic dance of Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto which lured Amaterasu from her cave.[1]


Kagura (神楽) or ‘entertainment of the gods’ includes music, dance and poetry and comprises mi-kagura of the court, o-kagura of major shrines such as Ise Jingū, and village sato-kagura.[2]


The repertoire includes eight forms that may be traced back to the eighth century: kagura-uta (kagura songs), azuma asobi (eastern entertainment), kume-uta (palace guard songs) ō-uta (big songs), onaibi-uta (night duty songs), ruika (funeral songs), ta-uta (field songs), and yamato-uta (Yamato songs).[2]


Instruments include the wagon (和琴), kagura-bue (神楽笛), hichiriki (篳篥), suzu (), tsuzumi (), and shakubyōshi (笏拍子) clappers. In local festivals the kane (), binzasara (編木), and taiko (太鼓) may also be found.[2]


  1.  Sadie, Stanley (ed.) (2001). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians XII.850fOxford University PressISBN978-0-19-517067-2.
  2.  Malm, William P. (2000). Traditional Japanese Music and Musical InstrumentsKodansha. pp. 47–65. ISBN4-7700-2395-2.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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