Usa-jingu Goshin Noh (Noh play at Usa-jingu Shrine) (宇佐神宮御神能)

Usa-jingu Goshin Noh is a Noh play dedicated at Usa-jingu Shrine (Usa City, Oita Prefecture) on the second day of fujo hosai festival (a festival of giving thanks to a shrine for grain of the field having been protected from storm and flood damage or from disease and harmful insects), held on October 20 and 21 every year. It is designated as an intangible cultural property of Oita Prefecture, since March 28, 1975.

Summary

Fujo hosai festival is one of many festival passed down in Usa-jingu Shrine. It is a festival of giving thanks to god for the productiveness of grain and grain of the field having been protected from storm and flood damage. The festival is held on October 20 and 21 every year. Goshin Noh (Noh play) is dedicated at Noh Theatre in precincts of Usa-jingu Shrine on October 21, the second day of the festival. In addition, Sato maigaku uchi is dedicated at funeral hall in front of Usa-jingu Shrine Chokushi-mon gate (the gate for the Imperial Envoys) on October 20, the first day of the festival.

It is believed that Goshin Noh of Usa jingu started around 1175-1177, as a sarugaku (comical mimicry and speech performance in Heian period). Through some vicissitudes in later days, such as a restoration in 1415 by Yoshihiro OUCHI, Tadaoki HOSOKAWA who entered in the Nakatsu Domain after the Battle of Sekigahara retorted it in 1619. Since then, it has been dedicated every year for approximately 390 years.

Noh is in line of Kanze school, and Kyogen (farce played during a Noh cycle) is in line of Okura school. It is also called Usa Kanze. Presently, different program is played by Usa-jingu Shrine shin Noh kai (Usa-jingu Shrine shin noh society) that main body is Usa-jingu Shrine's ujiko (shrine parishioner). However "Kiyotsune" (a Noh piece) is not played as a tradition. It is a leading Goshin Noh (Nogaku play dedicated to before the gods) along with Tokasai (a festival of offering peach blossoms to the enshrined deity) Goshin Noh of Itsukushima-jinja Shrine.