Sword Dance (Kenbai)

A type of Nenbutsu Furyu Dance which is divided into 2 categories, the mask category and the non-mask category. They include the Nenbutsu Sword Dance, Hinako Sword Dance, Armor Sword Dance and Dainenbutsu (Authentic Sword Dance). There are theories stating that the word "Kenbai" comes from the energetic performance of a sword dancer, or "Henbai" which is the action of vigorous stepping of the Earth. The Lantern Festival is held to give peace to the soul of the ancestors, banish evil spirits and serves as a redemption for the living. The Demon's Sword Dance which is also a part of the Nenbutsu Sword Dance is a dance depicting Buddha's reincarnation (face masks of clown mask, fox mask or others are worn according to area) generally known as "Saruko" and "Kakkata" driving away apparitions (or spirits) in the form of a mask portraying resentment known as "Ikamono". Hinako Sword Dance is an enchanting sword dance performed by young girls and is accompanied by a variety of drum beats.