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Gassan Shrine Lion Dance

Location: Iwaki-Tomita, Yurihonjo City
Site(s) of performance: Gassan Shrine, the house in charge of the festival, and the other places in the community
Date(s): 4th Saturday and Sunday of April
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Shishimai and Bangaku
The Gassan Shrine Lion Dance (also known as Tomita Lion Dance) is performed in the house of the household in charge of Gassan Shrine’s annual festival. It is performed for purification and bumper crops. The lion also visits the other members of the community. The performance starts with a song of Shizuka-bushi, and then the lion performs the Jimai dance and then the main lion dance. The Jimai dance replicates the dance of Amenouzume in the myth of Amaterasu’s seclusion in a cave, which attracted Amaterasu (the Sun God) out of the cave and saved the world.

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