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Adachi Ward , Tokyo Related category:
Shishimai lion dance of Hanahata    



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Entire story: 31 minutes
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Shishimai of Hanahata is a hitoridachi santo shishimai, where three dancers, each wearing lion head-gear, dance together. This dance has been handed down in former Hanamata-mura of Adachi-ward. It is also called the kito shishimai or the lion dance for praying which is performed to pray for world peace, a good harvest, and the expulsion of pestilence.
It used to be performed on July 15 and is thought to be a shishimai particularly geared to praying for the expulsion of pestilence, including epidemics that spread in the summer. It is said that the shishimai used to visit villages when they were struck by epidemics. Presently, it is performed and dedicated at the mainiwa in the precinct of Otori Shrine on the third Sunday of July.
The three lions are said to be mother and cubs, namely Kakajishi (mother lion), Nakashishi (middle lion), and Ojishi (big lion) and they perform different kinds of dances in the seven numbers, including Okazaki, Hikakari, Hashiwatari, Tsunawatari, Hanakakushi, Kuchikake, and Deiri.

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