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Ageo City , Saitama Related category:
Fujinami no Shishimai (Fujinami Lion Dance)    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 35 minutes
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Fujinami no Sasara Shishimai (The Sasara Lion Dance of Fujinami) has long been performed as a local entertainment in Fujinami, which is located northeast of Ageo City. The origin of the Lion Dance and how it has been passed down through the years is uncertain, but it may date from as far back as the Kanbun Period (1655-1672). The dance is performed by the ou lion, the naka lion, the female lion and the saruwaka, who leads the three lions in a group. The dance is performed at the annual festival at Tenjinsha, the main shrine in Fujinami, on the first Sunday of October. It is performed at a place called the niwa, set up in the shrine. One performance is called a hitoniwa (one niwa) and there are three niwas performed at the shrine. Depending on the year, the dance is also dedicated to the mitsugonin, where all the equipment for the lion dance is stored. For the performances, in addition to the lions and the saruwaka, there are flutes and songs called jyojaku. There are some other important roles in the dance called muyaku, such as dashi, hyoushigi, haifuki, kanabou, keiko, takahari and shokudai. The Fujinami no Sasara Shishimai tradition is maintained with great respect by people of the village.

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