The Japanese myths “Kojiki” and “Nihon shoki” completed in the beginning of 8th century tell of the creation of Japanese archipelago. When this world was still in chaos, the first god and goddess Izanagi and Izanami, standing on the heavenly bridge, put a spear into the ocean and stirred. When they pulled it up from the ocean, a drop fell, dried up and finally became a small island called Onokoro-shima. The god and goddess landed on the island and got married to bear a lot of islands of Japan. The first island is believed to be Awaji-shima island.
Rich in beautiful nature and a scenic landscape of four seasons, Japan has fostered rich cultural traditions and performing arts. Japanese people feel gods in nature, worship ancestral spirits, and sometimes accepts foreign gods as well. In order to thank, entertain, and ask them for a good crop or fishing, people have devised a variety of domestic festivals and performing arts. In Awaji, festivals of shrines usually involve a procession and offerings at shrine. The procession consists of singers of danjiri-uta (folk song derived from jôruri narrations) and mikoshi (portable shrine). The offerings include various entertainment such as danjiri-uta, kagura sacred dance, shishimai lion dance, and other dance repertoire. Awaji ningyô-jôruri, born as a sacred entertainment at shrines, has been fostered and supported by the people who still deeply admire the power of nature and gods today.