Location: Yuze, Hachimantai, Kazuno City
Site(s) of performance: Shinmei Shrine and other places in the community
Date(s): July 16 (the day of the shrine’s annual festival)
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
The Sakibarai Dance is a kind of exorcism dance that is performed before the departure of a mikoshi (a religious palanquin carrying a deity) at Shinto festivals. Around 900 years ago, Hachiman Tarō Yoshiie died of disease at Hachimantai during his Northern Campaign against the Abe clan. One of his vassals settled in Anikawa (Hachimantai City in Iwate Prefecture) and danced at rituals of the Inari Shrine. That dance was passed on to the Shinmei Shrine of Yuze in 1925. As it first started at Anikawa, it is also called the Anikawa Dance.