The students are prepairing for their Gakushu Happyou Kai or, literally, the meeting for telling what they have learned in school. They practice almost every day for a few hours.
One of the things they are learning is a traditional dance of the village, the Kagura. The dance is a call to the Goddess Amaterasu, calling her to a beam of light that they create through the dance. Its a pretty cool idea, and the dance itself, although it looks easy, is actually pretty hard to master.
This dance and music remind me very much of an indian Pow Wow. There is a drum, a banging board, and a bamboo flute. The dancers hold a sword in one hand, and a bells on a stick in another. The dancers cut the air or do complicated foot movements while shaking the bells. It is an interesting dance to learn, and it makes me want to know more about Native American dances, and other native dances, in order to compare what is similar or what is different.
I am looking forward to winter, when the Kagura is danced every Saturday in December, from night until morning.