Hirusawa Lion Dance
Location: Katsuratai, Iwase, Odate City
Site(s) of performance: Inari Shrine and other places in the community
Date(s): August 13
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Cultural Property
Category: Sasara and Horse Dance
Long ago, the Sasaki family, who belonged to the Ōmi branch of the famous Minamoto family, lost a battle, fled to the north, and found refuge in this area. They started developing the agriculture here and established themselves as the leading family of the village. One of descendants of the family, Sasaki Zenzaemon, who was the leader of 15 Sasaki families of the village, constructed a shrine in 1682 and performed a lion dance as a prayer for the appeasement of the war dead and the prosperity of the Sasaki family. That started the tradition of the Hirusawa Lion Dance. Despite the name of lion dance, it has three dances: a stick dance, a yakko dance (samurai servants’ dance), and the lion dance in the strict sense. The lion dance is a dance of three lions, each performed by one person. It describes the scene of the lions jumping around in a field. There is a song sung with the lion dance. Music is played with big drums and Japanese flutes.