Shirasawa Lion Dance
Location: Shirasawa, Odate City
Site(s) of performance: Shinmei Shrine and other places in the community
Date(s): August 14
Category: Sasara and Horse Dance
The origin of the Shirasawa Lion Dance is believed to go back to a dance brought to Akita by Lord Satake’s escorts when he was reassigned to Akita and made a long journey in the early 17th century. Some people argue that the lion dance here and the lion dance of Matsuki (Odate City) are very much alike and might have had special relations, even if the rhythms of the music are slightly different. Despite the name of the Shiraiwa Lion Dance, the program includes, in addition to the lion dance, a yakko dance (samurai servant’s dance) and stick dance. The lion dance is danced by three lions, each performed by one person. It is characteristic of the lion dance here that the dancing is different when they dance for the appeasement of the spirits of the ancestors and when they dance to pray for a good harvest.