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  • Akiko

Choreography or magical motion?

The ritual called Shizume-no-mai, dance for pacification is for getting out of ritual status.

When it comes to possession, we tend to focus on how shaman incarnate spirit into them. (Here, of course, we don't discuss if really spirits exist or not, or really shaman can do it or not. We cannot prove it. The importance is people recognise it thanks to commun understanding of codes. ) However, when the spirit enters into their body, you have to put it out from you. Otherwise, you never be back yourself. Same as ritual, we cannot live in sacred time forever. We have to bring normal status.

During the Shizume-no-mai is divided in three parts in which the main officiant executes different shamanic techniques; sakaashi technique is one of magical steps. He jumps behind, and then predominates slowly three steps. When he moves forward, he has to put the heal of one foot (which he moves) to the toe of another foot. It is considered as magical step, by which the officiant pacifies the land where he steps.

Jumping or magical steps, are often found in Kagura choreography. In ritual dance, it is often vague the distinction between choreography and magical motion. In addition, the kagura ritual brought main income to priests, it is no doubt that they changes their performance more spectacular.

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