Kagura is a big thing out here in the San’in region. Iwami Kagura, from western Shimane, is especially well known for its costumes. Each one costs thousands of dollars (and tens of thousands of yen!), but I got a chance to see a bunch of them up close and personal.

Photos on a computer screen don’t do justice to the textures!

The eyes roll as the dancer moves!

Note the mirrors.

(This kind of mask sort of served as the inspiration for the oni-like inhabitants of Yomi I drew–though my version looks a bit more like a Muppet.)

Can you tell which one is me, and which one is Tanya, my Russian CIR friend?

These are some of the heaviest costumes I’ve ever worn, but the performers manage to dance surprisingly fast in them.

Can you spot the CIRs?

I’ll start posting the Kojiki manga about this beast early this month. Be on the look out for it!

For those of you living in or around Matsue, there will be a chance to see an Iwami Kaguri group from Hamada City performing at the Shimane Civic Center on February 16th!