Copy right NORTHCHIBA
Yokoshiba Musho, Sanbu-gun
・Every 16 August
This ceremony "Kiraigo" is only one performance of hell showing retributive justice.
The performance has 2 parts. The first play is about torture in hell. The second play is about the episode of building Kosaiji. It is 1 and half hours play total.
The scale of the stage is 10.8m width, 5.4m length and whole stage is covered with numbers of leaves.
Performance, setting of the stage, other preparation of the play, is done by the local people.
It is nationally designated as Intangible folk cultural assets.
During Kamakura period (about 12th century), traveling monk Sekioku slept at the place of today's Kosaiji. And he saw the dream about young lady is tortured by ogres.
Next day, he met samurai Akinokamiand & his wife and found out the lady in the dream was their daughter.
Sekioku told them about the dream and Akinokami regretted he was not good father for her.
They build Kosaiji to repose the daughter's spirit.
In summer of the same year, suddenly thunder storm hit the temple, and blue, black, red, white masks of ogre and mask of old lady fallen from the sky.
By chance, 3 famous sculptors Unkei, Tankei, Anami saw the dream of Sekiokuand and Akinokami & his wife build the temple to repose the lady.
3 of them were moved by the dream and visited Sekioku and hear the whole stories Sekioku experienced.
3 Sculptors made masks of Enma Daio (the judge of the afterlife), old lady, and ogres.
The sculptors and Sekioku played "Kiraigo" on 16 August. Since then, the ceremony is held on the same day.
Legend says, "Babies held by the old lady (ogre) grow healthy". Some cry loudly as soon as the ogre hold him/her, and others sleep well even if they are in the arms of scary face ogre.
This ceremony makes the audience smile.
This hand-made outside performance is pregnant with meaning.
The outside play in small village is very rare and important cultural asset.
Access/Fees/Opening hours/Contact etc.
From "Yokoshiba Sta.", transfer to the bus and get off at "Musho Iriguchi",
10min. by walk. from the bus stop.
From Choshi Renraku Doro "Yokoshibahikari Exit", 3km
0479-84-1358 (Yokoshibahikari Town)
Source of reference：Yokoshibahikari Town