Daisen City , Akita
|Horiminai sasara dance|
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The Horiminai sasara dance is said to have been handed down in the Horiminai area even before the Lord Satake started to rule over the Akita domain in the 7th year of the Keicho era (1602). It is a dance to expel agricultural pests, to pray for a good harvest, to drive out diseases, and to pray for health for the family.
The sasara is based on the shishimai lion dance. The Horiminai sasara, however, has a quaint custom called Nadewatari that is performed on the route to the dancing stage and has been well preserved until the present day.
In this custom, the congregation drives away demons while protecting themselves from beasts using torches, bonbori or paper-covered lamps, and gongs and the three Hitorijishimai or lion dancers conquer the birds and animals which harm the farmland and the diseases and germs which claim farmers lives. The other members of the congregation, in charge of such things as the gods, sasarasuri, karauchiwa, kama, botsukai, odaiko, utaiage, and fuefuki, accompany the lions and parade to the odoriba stage where they pray for a good harvest and the expulsion of diseases.
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