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History of the Sahinai Kinzan (gold mines) in Shiwa, Iwate

Gold mining in Japan began in ancient times. Iwate was one of its oldest producers. Most of its gold was found in creeks, rivers, and mines in Sahinai, Shiwa.

In November of 1622 (Genna year 8), Yajiro Tanba, a man from Kyoto, first came to Sahinai. He brought more than 1,000 miners and began large scale extraction of gold. At its peak about 13,000 people settled in Sahinai. Many folk songs and dances were created in that era.

Some early miners were Christians. Against the government’s prohibitions, they secretly but zealously spread Christianity, praying inside the mines. From the way they hid crosses in their gravestones, history shows how difficult it was to spread Christianity in those days.


Spirit of Sahinai Kinzan Daiko

To preserve the history and heritage of Sahinai gold mines, Sahinai Kinzan Daiko was established on September 27, 1987. The group symbolizes Sahinai Kinzan, the mountain in which the mines were located. Its creation helped build a vigorous and strong community through new cultural activities.

Celebrating our 25th year, we had a concert titled “Unite Our Hearts” in February 2012.


Kinzan Matsuri: A Passion for Playing Drums

Kinzan Matsuri is an annual festival in Sahinai. It has become a traditional and historical event in the district. This festival, held on August 14, provides an occasion for wadaiko (Japanese drums) performances. The Sahinai Elementary School provides a special stage, and people of all ages from all over the district come together to perform. The performances include nursery school students, elementary school students, junior high school students, parents, and grandparents. Even the young people compose and direct their own, original music.

Many people from Shiwa and its neighboring towns come to see the drum performances, and thanks to Kinzan Daiko and the community spirit of the district, Sahinai has become a fascinating place for many young people.


Past International Performances
March 3-5, 2006
Apple and Grape Harvest Festival in Stanthorpe, Queensland, Australia
A biennial festival in Stanthorpe, Shiwa’s sister city

May 5-6, 2002
GOD Bless America - Japanese Drum Concerts in New York
A memorial concert for the 9.11 attacks


About Shiwa Town
Shiwa Town sits in the center of Iwate Prefecture in the northern part of Japan. Its population is about 34,000, and our main industry is agriculture. Major products are rice, apples and grapes. Iwate Prefecture is one of the areas affected by 2011 Tohoku earthquakes and tsunamis.

About Community of Sahinai
Sahinai is in southeast part of Shiwa. Surrounded by mountains and hills, it is the smallest of Shiwa’s nine districts with about 1,000 residents. Over 400 years ago, there were gold mines, and people came from all over the country to work the mines. It’s said that around 13,000 people lived here at that time.

■佐比内金山太鼓(さひないきんざんだいこ)
「歴史を太鼓にのせて活ある里づくり」をキャッチフレーズに、今を遡る400年の昔、産金で栄えた華やかな佐比内の歴史を背景に小学校校舎改築記念として、子供達に文化をと、地域が一丸となって誕生した紫波町初の創作太鼓である。

毎年8月14日には、佐比内金山祭を開催し、保育所、小学校、中学校、若衆、親子、シルバーと年代毎、230余名による演奏が行われ伝承活動に力を入れている。

2002年、5月5・6日、「9-11同時多発テロ犠牲者を悼みテロのない世界平和を訴える」ニューヨーク和太鼓コンサート2002に出演、初の海外公演を大勢の方々から賞賛を頂き成功する。また、同年に開催された「全国太鼓フェスティバル(陸前高田)」に出演。

2006年3月3-5日オーストラリア・クィーンズランド洲スタンソープ市で開催された「Apple and Grape Harvest Festival 2006」に出演、言語の枠を超えるパフォーマンスで確かな手応えをつかむ。
2007年3月4日には、創設20周年記念企画「響き、更なる飛躍!」公演。

2012年2月26日、創設25周年記念企画「みんなの心ひとつに」公演

2016年3月4-6日オーストラリア・クィーンズランド洲サザンダウン市スタンソープで開催された「Apple and Grape Harvest Festival 2016」に10年ぶりに出演、更に響くパフォーマンスで人々の心をつかむ。

2017年3月5日、創設30周年記念公演「THE KINZAN」公演。

《紫波町》
  紫波町は日本の北側、岩手県のほぼ中央部にあり、人口約35,000人、米の生産を中心とした農業を基幹産業とする小さな町。この岩手県は東日本大震災で大きな被害を被った県の1つ。

《佐比内地区》
 佐比内は紫波町の南東部にある、辺りを山々に囲まれた農村地域で、現在、約350世帯、1000人が暮らす紫波町の中でも小さな地域。
 佐比内には昔、金鉱があり、今から約400年前、金塊を求めて日本各地から人が集まっていた。当時は約13,000人、今の約120倍の人が住んでいたと言われている。

ADDRESS

2-35 katayama Sahinaikouminkan, Sahinai, Shiwa-cho Shiwa-gun, Iwate, 028-3316, Japan Sahinaikinzandaiko

■〒028-3316
岩手県紫波郡紫波町佐比内字片山35の2
佐比内金山太鼓保存会 代表 佐々木 武

電話 FAX 019-674-2626

E-Mail sahinai.kinzandaiko@gmail.com

電話受付時間:月曜日-金曜日 10:00~15:00