Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Aga Machi , Niigata Related category:
A cultural asset designated by Aga Machi Ishido Shishimai (Ishido Lion Dance)    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 46 minutes
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The Ishido region in Aga Machi is a settlement of 91 people living in 32 households. The "Ishido Shishimai (Ishido Lion Dance)" is dedicated at "Sansha Shrine" in this area once a year. The form of this dance is "Hitori-dachi Sanbiki Shishimai (Lion dance where each lion is played by a single person)." This lion dance form is also referred to as "Furyu Shishimai." It is said that this dance was introduced during the Edo or Meiji Period based on the Aizu Higan Jishi (Aizu Higan Lion Dance), since the area used to belong to the former Aizu Clan. The ritual was discontinued when the flute player passed away in 1960, but since then, various efforts had been made in order to have the ritual revived. Eventually, the musical techniques were taught to successors by a flute player who had moved to Tsuruoka, enabling the ritual to be revived in 1974, and the "Shishimai Circle" was established in 1975. The dance item "Santai no mai (the Dance of the Three)" is performed by the male lion, the female lion, and the Tai-jishi (the lion leader). The dance item "Mejishi no mai (the Dance of the Female Lion)" is performed by the female lion. The dance item "Ojishi no mai (the Dance of the Male Lion)" is the most intense dance, and
therefore the performers take turns. There is a role called "Maku-hari (curtain drawer)" which involves moving a
curtain in front of and behind the lion, and the lion dancing intertwined with this curtain is characteristic of this dance.

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