|Iwami Shinto ritual dance 'Yorimasa' by company of Ushirono Kagura
photo: courtesy of In'yo-kagura Photo Contest Secretariat
Nue is a fabulous bird.
There is a story about Nue in the Heian period.
It is said that .....when it became 2:00 a.m., a black cloud had appeared from the forest in Higashi-Sanjo (Kyoto)
and covered the Palace every day.
A mysterious bird with a strange chirp called Nue had emerged from it and cried
above the roof of Shishin-den (one of the palace buildings). .
Nue had caused bad luck for the Emperor Horikawa and he had been persecuted for this.
At last the emperor ordered Minamoto-no-Yorimasa, an excellent shooter, to shoot Nue,
Yorimasa went to the forest in Higashi-sanjo with his vassal, Ino Hayata, and shot Nue
The head is derived from monkey's,
the body is derived from raccoon dog's,
the tail is derived from snake's,
the legs are derived from tiger's, and
the voice is derived from toratsugumi (scaly thrush) 's.