The theme of Grandscape Hamanako @ Kanzanji is the relationship between nature and people.
The people of a quiet village in Tōtōmi face various threats from nature like drought, floods, and fires. How did people without science or technology overcome such hardships in the past?
And now, in the face of this new pandemic, what strengths do we need to move forward?
The work brings together these questions using the rituals and folklore culture of the Lake Hamana region. Enjoy a performance that makes the most of the outdoor setting, with a stage floating on the lake, flames, and light using the lake's surface.
Photo: Hamamatsu Hamanako Tourism Bureau
The setting is a village in Tōtōmi. The story begins with a scene in the tranquil countryside in spring.
People in the village enjoy the breath of spring. They are hard at work on farms. As the season progresses, a drought continues, the ears of rice wither, and the villagers are at their wits' end.
Village in Tōtōmi
(spring in the Okusa Mountains)
Prayers for rain
Hearing the villagers' pessimistic voices, Ichikishimahimenomikoto（a goddess of water in Japanese mythology） emerges from the Inohashiko Shrine and dances to pray for rain. Then, drops of rain begin to fall.
Scene Three: Joy
Villagers enjoy nature's rich bounties.
Scene Four: The flood
Suddenly, evil water nymphs play tricks on the villagers, causing a flood. Rain that was supposed to be a blessing turns into something violent that strikes the village.
The harvest festival
The floodwaters subside and a quiet morning arrives. While the village lost much to the currents, the floods also brought fertile land. Villagers enjoy the rich autumn harvest.
Scene Six: Winter in Tōtōmi
Harsh cold weather arrives in the village in Tōtōmi. Food stocks run low, and the villagers are freezing. The warmth from fires brings them a momentary peace of mind.
Scene Seven: The fire
While the people were napping, the flames from a bonfire spread to the dry hut and quickly start a fire. Villagers flee from the flames.
Putting out the fire
Mountain priests from Kanzanji in Mt. Akiha come to the aid of their village consumed by flames.
Their prayers stop the fire.
Scene Nine: Separation
Time passes, and the setting changes to a modern-day office.
In a corporate culture that prioritizes profits and efficiency, people have lost their individuality and have become fragmented and alienated. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic strikes.
People are suddenly forced to suspend their everyday lives.
The world has frozen completely.
Will we be able to move forward again?