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Shimane: Fascinating folk music, traditional dance; Yasugi-bushi entertainment hall reopens after renovation

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A man performs the Dojou-sukui Odori dance in Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture.

YASUGI, Shimane – The Yasugi-bushi Engei-kan entertainment hall in Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture, has reopened after being closed for more than a year for renovation work and the hiring of a new management organization.

Yasugi-bushi is a type of folk music passed down in Shimane Prefecture, known for its “Dojou-sukui Odori” (crawling dance). Dancers wear a tenugui towel on their heads and place a coin on their nose. They sway their hips with a basket at their waist, walking and bobbing to the rhythm of the music. They make funny gestures, scoop up imaginary loaches with a bamboo sieve and try to catch the escaping fish to make the audience laugh.

The hall was opened in 2006 as a stage for local Yasugi-bushi performing arts. It was temporarily closed in March last year when the contract with the management organization expired, and renovations were carried out to address its outdated air conditioning and lighting equipment.

Before the official opening on May 26, the facility had a special opening event during Golden Week in late April and early May, where visitors could watch Dojou-sukui Odori performances and even try out the unique moves for themselves.

Yasugi-bushi performances are held regularly twice a day on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Admission is ¥1,000 for adults and ¥500 for primary and secondary school students.

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