Ishikawa Horse Dance
Location: Ishikawa, Minehama, Happo Town
Site(s) of performance: Sofusawa Shrine, Shōdenji Temple, and other places in the community
Date(s): August 13
Designation: Town Designated Intangible Cultural Property
Category: Sasara and Horse Dance
For the festival of Ishikawa Horse Dance, also known as Ishikawa Folkloric Performing Art, two kinds of dances have been passed down to
Date(s): horse dances and yakko dances (samurai servants’ dances). It is believed to have been made a tradition here by offspring of the people who came here with Lord Satake, the former daimyo of Hitachi-Ōta (present-day Ibaraki prefecture), after he was reassigned to the domain of Akita in 1602. It is performed today for the consolation of the spirits of the ancestors and to pray for bumper crops. The horse dance here is characterized by violent jumps and mock horseheads worn sideways.