Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Koriyama City , Fukushima Related category:
Lion Dancing of Otoro (Important Intangible Folklore Cultural Asset of City)    

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Entire story: 31 minutes
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Tomita Town in Koriyama City is where “Otoro Taishido (meaning ’the prince’s hall’)” is located. It retains memorial towers as well as a 6-storied pagoda said to have been built during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). According to the record “Taishido-Engi,” written in 1857, this building dates back to the time when MINAMOTO-no Shigeyuki, known as one of the 36 Poetry Immortals of waka, stopped in this area, carved a statue of Prince Shotoku, and housed it here. As for the lion dance, a Buddhist priest, Kaian, is said to have revived it around the year 1644, when he reconstructed the hall, which had been burnt down in a war. In 1958, it was designated as an important intangible folklore cultural asset of Koriyama City.
The dance features a trilogy of 3 lions, Taro, Jiro, and Hanakoshishi (a female lion). The masks symbolizing the holy beasts are made by manual carving, as rarely seen elsewhere. They are highly regarded as pieces of artwork. The lion dance is performed by school children ranging from 3rd to 6th grade within the precinct of the hall on the last Saturday and Sunday of every July at 7 and 8 o’clock at night. The items include “Zu wo Kiru (cut the drawing.),” “Oso-Chigiri (slow ripping),” “Haya-Chigiri (rapid ripping),” “Hana-sui (sucking the flowers),” and “Ogi no Mai (folding fan dancing).”

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