Oral tradition of origin
In Bun-an 2 (1445) of Muromachi Era, Seki Family, which is the relative of Ise Heishi became the lord of this land. When building Zuikou-in Temple in Kyouroku 2 (1529), people of Mikawa (Sanshu) Furikusa Shimoda came and danced in the garden of the temple to celebrate its foundation. It is recorded that the villagers who saw this event decided to dance every year in the Bon Festival season in this place,and thus, the Bon Dancing started. The place name Sanshu Furikusa Shimoda is sang in the lyrics of the dance song of “Osama”, and it can be said without doubt that the Bon Dancing of the first stage was transmitted from Furikusa district.
The Seki Family ordered the people to dance the dance in front of the gate of the present Tono Yashiki (The lord’s mansion). Presently, the place is called “Furu ichiba”, and it happens to be that Ichigami-sama (The god of the market) which is the protective god of the market is deified. The god became the god of the dance sometime. Furthermore, there is a temple called Eisho-an in Oomura district and they asked to dance in front of the gate of it. The place is called Oomura Ichiba (Oomura Market) and they also deify the Ichigami-sama.
These records and oral traditions must be studied from all angles, but the notable point is that the first dancing venue was “the open space in the temple” and “in front of the gate of the temple”. And also, the point is that the dancing venue had strong relations with places like cities, such as “the market”. In the Middle Ages, in many cases a temple was a place which had the character of “a city”, and this is an interesting example upon studying the relation between the religion and the city in the stage of the birth of Bon Dancing.
Also, ancestors’ spirit of the community and the new spirit are the ones which are generally sent off in the event of “Okuri” (sending off) of Bon Dancing. However, Ara Seirei (Ara Spirits) can be considered to lodge in Kiriko Dourou (Kiriko Lantern), so we must study the relations between the ancestors’ spirit of the community and Ichigami-sama and Odori-gami (God of the dance).
Niino Bon Dancing of the ancient days
According to “Matsuri no Furusato Anan (Anan, the home of festivals) written by Educational Committee of Anan Town, before the dance became into the form of wa-odori (circle dance) like in the present days, peoples’ kith and kin and villagers gathered in the garden of the family who see their first Bon Season and went around these families dancing to console the spirits. This form is common with Wago Nembutu Odori and Sakambe of the same Anan-cho and “Kami-okuri (the event of sending the gods off) of go round type that are left in Damine District of Kita-Shitara County, and it is considered a characteristic of a stage that has a strong tone of reposing the spirits (Simbon).
Also, there were formerly types of dances, but after the direction of Kunio Yanagita, there are 7 types of dances in the present.