Ikeda Yohachi from Chyoukai machi (Yurihonjou city) completed this Bangaku with his pupils
Masaka Toukichi and Maruta Kesazo in around 1890. Sarukura is a name of the area that Toukichi was born. The name,Sarukura Ningyou Shibai is well known in Japan.
Toukichi was working with the stage name Yoshida Katsuwaka. After he was adopted he moved to Nonaka in Ugo machi, He started the Nonaka Ningyou Sibai group.
Sarukura Ningyou Sibai could perform anywhere and it was welcomed by the masses. It flourished during the Taishyou age(1912~1926) There were and still are three programs during the one performance. They were (koujou
(drama)), (kantestuosyou no teodori
(a bonze Kantetsu’s hand dance)). The performance is so much fun and it gives all generations a lot of enjoyment. It became a prefectural intangible cultural asset on October 12th
in 1974. And on November 28th,
1996 the government decided to make it anational intangible cultural asset to keep a record of this history.
MOTOKI SHISHIMAI ( motoki area lion dance)
[ TOWN INTANGIBLE CULTURAL ASSET ]
This shishimai spread to the Horimawari area in Nishimonai. There is a record that it was performed around the Nishimonai castle and the lord’s family temple ( Saizoji ). On the costume, there is an emblem which is the same as lord Onodera. With these facts, it is deeply related with Onodera. Motoki shishimai is showing yamabushi・ bangaku kagura. There are five programs「shinzen no mai 」「shishimai 」「shinobu dayuu 」「torimai 」「gojoushi 」. 「shinzen no mai 」is to purify the stage. The others are wishing for blessing for children and family, taking away bad spirits and sickness and for a good harvest.
Originally it was offered for religious rites of Motoki shinmyousha and give wishes for each family in the area during Obon ( August 14~16). Each community had an inn and they offered sake, rice, fruits, salt,and water on their altar. In there they performed all the programs.
NOTED PLACES / SIGHTS
GARIMEKI SISTUGEN ( GARIMEKI WETPLACE )
[ PREFECTURL NATURE CONSERVATION AREA ]
It is located in the Akedouri mountain in the Tashiro area. Swamp plants in this area were discovered in 1973. There are 4 ponds by the stream in a valley by Nashinoki pass . It is a typical low-rise wetland and the feature is swamp plants and mountain plants growing together . There are 64 kinds of wild plants there. Very valuable botanical plants are growing wild like Oze wetland.
Two ponds upstream and around them became an Akita Natural conservation area in March 1976.
In spring beautiful symplocarpus will bloom and lots of menyanthes, inula ciliaris, pogonia japonica, chiloglottis, start blooming one after another. In autumn, lobelia sessilifolia, gentian, prenanthes tanakae and eripcaulon tutidae which were discovered in Garimegi wetland start blooming.
Till the beginning of winter many flowers are in full glory in this nature paradise.
ISHIMAKKO ( stone horse )
Mitake shrine was opened in 704. On the way there, there are two stone horses instead of stone guardian dogs of the regular shrines. A stone mason in Yuzawa city made them and offered them to the shrine in 1870. Since then people call them「Ishimakko 」and commune with them.
Ishimakko is a carved typical Japanese horse. The male one is called 「Ah 」and it is opening the mouth. The other is female and is called 「UN 」.It is closing the mouth. Tradition says that if you let your child crawl under the horse, the measles of the child will be light. So many people came with their child to worship. Now not many people visit there like then, but the two stone horses always welcome you under the big ginkgo tree.
SIGHT FROM TAIHEIZAN ( TAIHEI MOUNTAIN )
Taiheizan is in the middle of Ugomachi. It is 474 meters high. The sights from the rest house ( Miharasisou ) in the middle of the mountain and kemurigaoka shrine on the top of the mountain are wonderful. We can see the Mt Chokai in west. The Yokote basin is in the east .You can see Yuzawa Ogachi, Yokote Hiraka, and Senboku. When it is a nice day, you can see the Sea of Japan too. Also the night view is beautiful. 「Ikoi no mori 」( the forest for rest ) there is a rest house, an arbor, trail ,parking, and washroom. You can enjoy the songs of pretty birds in the forest. Thanks to many kinds of trees and wild animals like squirrels, raccoon dogs and Japanese deer, you can feel the nature of four different seasons.
TARADA ZUSTUMI (TARADA BANK )
This bank is by Alcadea park in the Ninari tarada area. This has a long history. The lords Motegi and Ooyama fixed the bank to hold more water for irrigation in 1652. It was very connecting to the lives of the inhabitants while giving many kinds of fish and Junsai (eatable plant). Till around 1975 there was also a stocked it with carp. In autumn they drained the water and the carp were caught. In the past 20 years, because of the black bass, traditional Japanese fish are becoming less and people are trying to exterminate the black bass.
Now many people visit the bank to fish from spring to autumn. There is a fishing competition held in September. In the winter it will change to a paradise for swans.
OGACHISEN DENSHAKO ( OGACHI LINE TRAIN GARAGE )
Ogachi line between Ugo town and Yuzawa city was used from 1928 to1973. It was used for transfer and carriage,
The wooden train 「デハ３」( De Ha 3 ) was restored and is in storage for display. You can see this from Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
INFO : Ugomach town office, commerce and industry department ( 0183 – 62 – 2111 extension 223 )