Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Utsunomiya City , Tochigi Related category:
Tenkaichi-Kanpakuryu-Onkami Lion Dancing (Designated Intangible Folklore Cultural Asset of City)Soen Lion Dancing (Designated Intangible Cultural Asset of City)Lion Dancing of Iyama (Designated Intangible Cultural Asset of City)    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 106 minutes
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Tenkaichi-Kanpakuryu-Onkami Lion Dancing (also known as “Lion Dancing of Nakazato-Nishigumi)” is dedicated on August 15th every year in Hakusan Shrine and Nishigumi Community Center in order to pay respect for FUJIWARA Toshihito, a samurai chief related to Fujiwara aristocratic clan of Japan, for his contribution to this region. In 1838, upon construction of Futa-arayama Shrine in the city, local people of this area performed the lion dance for the ground-breaking ceremony and were given a frame inscribed with the phrase “Tenkaichi-Kanpakuryu (school of the best regent of Japanese Court).” Soen Lion Dancing is classified into the type called Furyu School and each lion character is performed independently by 3 dancers. This dance is said to date back to the time when FUJIWARA Soen, the first lord of Utsunomiya Castle, built a branch shrine of Hie Shrine in Omi Province (current Shiga Prefecture) and dedicated lion dancing performance in order to pray for victory in battles. Now the dance is performed in the shrine or the Yakushi-do Buddhist hall on the 16th day and the last Sunday of August. “Lion Dancing of Iyama” is categorized as a lion dance of Kanpaku School. During Enki Era (901-922), FUJIWARA Toshihito was appointed as the Commander-in-chief of the Defense of the North by the Imperial Court and dispatched to this region, and drove away local bandits, before passing away in this region. In order to pay respect for him, the villagers dedicated the lion dancing to him and Aso Shrine, according to the legend.

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