Jōshū-Kudaru Ontomo Sasara
Location: Dōji, Ōgita, Noshiro City
Site(s) of performance: various places in the community
Date(s): August 13, 14, 17, and 20
Designation: Prefecture-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Sasara and Horse Dance
According to legends here, when Lord Satake was moved from Hitachi-Ōta (present-day Ibaraki Prefecture) to Akita in 1602, a lower-class samurai danced to entertain the lord and prevent wrong-doers, and he came to Noshiro and started the tradition here. For this reason, it is called Jōshū-Kudaru Ontomo Sasara, meaning ‘Sasara to Accompany the Lords Coming Down from Jōshū.’ Jōshū is an alias for Hitachi Province. Some say that it was Lord Satake who named this sasara. The stick dances and spear dances have 38 numbers altogether. The lion dance has 5 dance numbers. The characteristic of the lion dance here is its fast movements and violent ups and downs. A yakko dance (samurai servants’ dance) is performed as well. Music is played with Japanese flutes and three big drums. Songs are sung to accompany the lion dance.