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The Rougetsu Kagura was a ceremony performed every decade on the evening of September 17. An Utsuwa and five Kanade performed a traditional Japanese theatrical dance known as kagura. The ritual's goal was to worship the lunar eclipse, and the ceremony was based on a much older ritual known as the Kiraigou.
On the day of the festival, the residents of Rougetsu Island donned masks and gathered by the Rougetsu Dais, in order to view the performance. The five Kanade stood around the circular platform with instruments, playing music to accompany the dance. The Utsuwa, dressed in white, would then begin to dance, worshipping the lunar eclipse.
Beginning with the Utsuwa, and spreading to the audience, participants in the Kagura would enter a trance-like state in which the soul was said to have departed the body. This state was referred to as "utsusemi", or "empty body". At the end of the ceremony, the souls would return, along with lost memories.
The people in the audience suffering from Getsuyuu Syndrome would regain a sense of self, which the disease had taken from them. This would help to treat their symptoms.
Although the real ritual which this Kagura was based on was intended to summon a gate to the Other World, the tourist Kagura never served this purpose.
The true ritual was performed at the same time as the 'tourist version' of this ceremony, during the lunar eclipse. As a result of the real ritual's failure, the Utsuwa and Kanade from the fake ritual collapsed and died.
The mask of the dancer from the real ritual broke, causing her to Bloom and fall into a coma. The Gate to the Other World was not summoned, and the souls of the people attending the Kagura did not properly return to their bodies, causing a Getsuyuu Syndrome "crisis" and a spate of suicides.
- ↑ Antechamber Origins, (unknown year), Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse - Chapter 9
- ↑ Fatal Frame IV Spirit List, Entry #225, "Utsuwa and Kanade Meditating"
- ↑ Official website (Japanese); Unofficial English Translation