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Koriyama City , Fukushima Related category:
Nukazuka no Shishimai (The Nukazuka Lion Dance)    

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A lion dance has existed in the former town of Tamura, Nukazuka district, since ancient times.
It is believed that Sakanoue no Tamuramaro taught his lion dance to the local people when he visited the Thoku region for Emishi Seibatsu, the conquering of Emishi.
This lion dance is celebrated at the festival at Sugafune Shrine on November 3rd, but the dance isnt performed every year. Whether to perform the dance or not is decided in advance on October 25th.
Lion dance consists of four dancers: the taro lion, the jiro lion, the female lion and the sasara, who leads the parade. The lions used to be boys aged eight or nine who were the eldest sons of their family, but now the part is often played by girls of the same age. The music is played by two kinds of drums and flutes, and is accompanied by song.
There are seven different types of performance, including ashiton and hyarara, depending on where the dance is performed, such as at a temple or a shrine. The two male lions fight for the attentions of the female lion and in that sense, the Nukazuka Lion Dance is no different from three lion dances of other areas.

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