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Iwayamachi Shishimai

Location: Iwayamachi, Yurihonjo City
Site(s) of performance: Iwaya Niiyama Shrine, Chōkokuji Temple, and other places in the community
Date(s): January 3 and 4, May 4 and 5, and August, 14, 15, and 22
Category: Shishimai and Bangaku
Legend holds that, in the olden days, the lion head of an old family in Motodate District (in the former Ouchi Town) was wild and frightened villagers by jumping up and down violently in the rice fields. The high priest Zezan calmed the spirit of the lion head, which has been used for the shishimai here ever since. On the new year day and August festival day, the shishimai is performed at the entrances to individual houses. Even though it is called Iwayamachi Shishimai, not only shishimai (lion dance) but also bangaku has been passed down to date, performed at the festivals of the Niiyama Shrine and of the Akata Great Buddha Statue.

About Shishimai and Bangaku