Umenai Horse Dance
Location: Umenai, Futatsui-machi, Noshiro City
Site(s) of performance: Zentokuji Temple and the open space in front of the community center
Date(s): August 13
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Sasara and Horse Dance
The origin of the Umenai Horse Dance is said to go back to 1602, when Lord Satake moved from Hitachi-Ōta (present-day Ibaraki Prefecture) to Akita by order of the Tokugawa government and a lower-class samurai danced to entertain the lord during the long journey northward. It is now danced to appease the spirits of the ancestors and pray for good harvest. People used to sing and dance for seven days and nights. Music is played with Japanese flutes and drums.