For my Gagaku Kagura stage project, I made the Sacred Shinto Cave Ama-no-Iwato 天岩戸.
In the cave Ama no Iwato the sun goddess Amaterasu locked herself up after a quarrel with her brother the storm god Susanoo. As a result, the world became dark.
The gods came to the cave and celebrated a great festival to get Amaterasu out of the cave again.
The goddess, priestess, shaman Uzume danced in front of the cave. This dance and the gifts of the gods led to the return of Amaterasu from the cave and the sun shone again.
This dance and festival is called the first Kagura in the Shinto religion.
Uzume is often referred to as the first miko and ancestor of today's shrine maidens.
Since Kagura later became a part of Gagaku, I have chosen the place in front of the cave as the beginning of my Gagaku Kagura stage series, as the first stage of Japan.
As a model for Amaterasu's cave, I took the Amanoyasukawara 天安河原 cave in Kyūshū of the Amanoiwato-jinja 天岩戸神社.
One day visitors of the cave started to build small stone towers on the way to and in front of the cave. What looks very impressive.
In my model I tried to incorporate these stone towers and interpreted them as the bodies of the countless gods who came to the cave to worship Amaterasu.
I recreated the cave in a musical context. Since the cave has a religious reference, questions may arise, I have included explanations of why I made which models and how I used them.
Great respect to the Japanese culture.