Location: Nagano, Daisen City
Site(s) of performance: Various places in the community
Date(s): August 13–16
Designation: Prefecture Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Sasara and Horse Dance
According to the scroll of ‘About the Lion King’ from this place, when Lord Satake made the procession to Akita in 1602 after reassignment by the shogunate to govern this place, the dance of three lions was performed at the front of the procession of the Satake-Kita family, one of branches of the Satake families. It was meant to lift the morale of the people and protect them from evil spirits on the highway. The lion dance performed then was passed down to date, making it a tradition here. The Satake-Kita family was settled in Murasakishima Castle in the Semboku area, but the dancers from Mito (present-day Ibaraki Prefecture) settled in Nagano, became farmers and started performing the sasara dance every year as a prayer to repel evil spirits and celebrate ancestors.