Location: Izumi-Yōka, Moritake, Mitane Town
Site(s) of performance: Shinmei Shrine and other places in the community
Date(s): July 1 (opening day), August 13 (prayer for ancestors), and September 1 (closing day)
Designation: Town-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Sasara and Horse Dance
The sasara dance of this region consists of a lion dance, stick dance, and yakko dance (samurai servants’ dance). The lion dance here is danced by three lions, each performed by one person. The lion dancers dance to the music of big drums and Japanese flutes, while beating a small drum held at their waist. The three lions represent courtesy and also harmony within the family. The stick dance was associated with the martial arts of self-defense. The sasara dance in general was brought here with the Satake family, who took a long journey from their former domain of Hitachi-Ōta (in present-day Ibaraki Prefecture) to the newly assigned domain of Akita. For that reason, the movement of the yakko dance is said to represent the family crest of the Satake family.