Type of Spiritual Experience
Within the context of Shinto, musical instruments were used both for entertainment in the more general sense, but also to help promote spiritual experience. The following has to be taken on two different levels it is both symbolic and graphic as it were.
Musical instruments were used by both ‘kabuki’ actors and Geisha.
Here two kabuki actors are holding musical instruments. The one in the broad brimmed hat – a very famous actor of the time – holds a shamisen.
Notice that the other instrument is a bowed instrument like a lyre or fiddle.
It was a custom in spring for the actors/musicians to wander the countryside and attend religious festivals. A number of trance dances such as the Lion Dance were performed at these festivals.
A description of the experience