Ōsawa Sōshimai (Ōsawa Strongmen’s Dance)
Location: Osawa, Fujisato Town
Site(s) of performance: Various places in the community
Date(s): May 4 (Kumano Shrine’s annual festival)
Around the 30th year of Meiji (1897), several performers stayed in the community of Osawa for a couple of days while going around all over the country. They showed the villagers their performance with swords, spears, and naginata (long swords) and some of the villagers asked them for dance lessons. One of those villagers was a woman, Nami Toshima, who taught other women in the community how to dance with armor. That is the origin of the Ōsawa Sōshimai (Ōsawa Strongmen’s Dance).