Fujisaki-san is a master of Kagura, the Shinto ritual performance that tells the stories of their gods. While in Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture, I had the chance to meet up with him, and photograph several of his performances.
Local legend is that Amaterasu Omikami, the goddess of the sun, once hid in a cave, plunging the world into darkness. The other gods worked together to bring her out of the cave, and bring back the light.
First Fujisaki-san performed the Uzume Dance in which he portrays the goddess Ame no Uzume who danced outside the cave to entice Amaterasu Omikami out.
Dressed as the god Tajikarao, and wearing a white scowling mask, Fujisaki-san then performed The Dance of Tajikarao. In the myth this is when the god Tajikarao searches for the cave.
The third performance was the Totori Dance. Fujisaki-san is still the god Tajikaro, but wearing a red mask. In the first pic, the straining red-faced Tajikarao removes the giant stone that closed the cave.
After shooting inside Fujisaki-san’s home, I wanted to get a few shots in the forest next to his house.
A huge thank you to Fujisaki-san and his family for letting me visit their home and take photographs. Thank you also to Aoi Hidaka for guiding me around Takachiho and her introductions, and to Kyushu Tourism for all their assistance.
Images shot with the Sony A7RIVa with the Sony FE 24-105mm. For some images I used the Profoto B1 with the shoot through umbrella for flash.