Hikiji-Machi Lion Dance
Location: Hikiji-machi, Yurihonjo City
Site(s) of performance: Hachiman Shrine, various places in Hikiji-machi, and other places in the former Honjo City.
Date(s): 3rd Sunday and Monday of September
Category: Sasara and Horse Dance
This dance was believed to have effects against evil spirits and the catastrophe of fire. That was the reason why it was practiced in Hikiji-machi, which was in charge of the defense of the north gate of the Honjo Domanial government. The origin is unclear, but it is said that Tateoka Mitsushige, one of chief warriors of the Mogami clan who ruled the Honjō area, brought it here in 1602. Another theory says that it was brought here from Hitachi Province (present-day Ibaraki Prefecture) with Rokugō Masanori, who established the Honjō Domain in 1622. There is yet another theory according to which sailors from the Kansai region brought it here.