Snake-Head Kagura of Karamatsu Shrine
Location: Shitadai, Kyowa-Sakai, Daisen City
Site(s) of performance: Karamatsu Shrine and other places in the community
Date(s): May 3 (the day of annual festival of Karamatsu Shrine) in the modern calendar and late September in the lunar calendar
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
The snake-head kagura is a lion dance performed by two people. The ‘snake-head’ is in fact a lion head. It is performed by priests. According to ‘Records of the Karamatsu-no-miya Mononobe Family’, when Hachiman Taro Yoshiie won the Gosannen War in the 11th century after prayer at the Karamatsu-no-miya Shrine (present-day Karamatsu Shrine), he had the snake-head kagura of this shrine travel widely around the Semboku region. One of the lion heads is a 16th century creation and is a city-designated tangible cultural property. There are also lion heads from 1680 and 1726.