Okashinai Lion Dance
Location: Okashinai, Kita-Akita City
Site(s) of performance: The cemetery, Yamanokami Shrine, and other places in the community
Date(s): August 13 and 16 (no longer practiced at the time of survey in fiscal year 2011)
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Sasara and Horse Dance
Okashinai Lion Dance is believed to have started in the Muromachi era (14th to 16th century) to pray for a good harvest of all crops and appeasement of the spirits of the ancestors. Despite the name of lion dance, it has a yakko dance (samurai servants’ dance), horse dance, stick dance in addition to the lion dance in the strict sense. The lion dance here is a dance of three lions, two males and one female, each performed by one person. The two male lions fight over the female lion. Music is played with big drums and Japanese flutes.