Matsunoo-dera Temple Hotokemai (松尾寺の仏舞)

The Matsunoo-dera Temple hotokemai (Buddhist dance) is a religious ritual conducted at Matsunoo-dera Temple (Maizuru City) in Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture. It has been designated an Important Intangible Cultural Property and is performed for the public on May 8 very year.

Summary

Hotokemai is a dance performed wearing masks representing Dainichi Nyorai, Shaka Nyorai and Amida Nyorai to Etenraku music that is reputed to have been transmitted from Tang Dynasty China during the Nara period. The origin and beginnings of the Hotokemai are unknown as Ancient Matsunoo-dera Temple records were lost to fire but records remain stating that the ritual was already being performed by the early Edo period.