Honjō Lion Dance
Site(s) of performance: Jōfukuji Temple and other places in the community
Date(s): August 13
Category: Sasara and Horse Dance
Despite the name of Honjō Lion Dance, the lion dance itself was lost in the very early years of the tradition, together with horse dance. Only the yakko dance (samurai servants’ dance) and stick dance have been passed down. It used to be called Honjō Tōda-ryū Bōjutsu (Honjō Stick Dance of Tōda School), which better represented the content of this event. The yakko dance includes such numbers as Bukkomi, Kamifunagi, Three Claps of Ayano, Ōgi Yakko, Yanagi Yakko, Shimo-Fuki-Yakko, and Mawari Yakko. Stick dances include such numbers as 1st Stick, 2nd Stick, 3rd Stick, 4th Stick, 5th Stick, Sticks and Sickles, Sticks and Swords, and Sickles and Swords. The stick dances are believed to belong to the Tōda School. One theory says that it started in the mid-19th century. In the first half of the 20th century, it was organized by the local youth association and is now in charge of a group called Kyōyūdan.