Kiriishi Sasara Dance
Location: Kiriishi, Futatsui-machi, Noshiro City
Site(s) of performance: The cemetery, the lion head’s guardian’s house, and other places in the community
Date(s): August 13 and 14
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Sasara and Horse Dance
When Lord Satake was relegated from Hitachi Province (in present-day Ibaraki Prefecture) to Akita in 1602, some people performed a kind of dance that later became the sasara dance (lion dance) in Akita. The community of Dōji became the center of sasara in Akita, and villagers of Kiriishi also learned from the villagers of Dōji how to dance sasara. The program includes the daimyo’s procession, lion dance, yakko dance (samurai servants’ dances), manzai (celebratory speech performance), and stick dances. Characteristics of the Kiriishi Sasara Dance are its energy and well-modulated claps. Music is played with Japanese flutes and drums.