Location: Kami-Jinego, Chokai-machi, Yurihonjo City
Site(s) of performance: Akiba Shrine and other places in the community
Date(s): March 24 in the lunar calendar
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
The Akiba Shishi (Akiba Lion Dance) of Kami-Jinego is a shishimai (lion dance) for the annual festival of Akiba Shrine, managed for many years by the Mitsumori family, in charge of the shrine’s administration. The shishimai is widely believed to have effects against fire. The lion head was a contribution by Lord Ikoma of Yashima Domain. The lion and its suite goes around the community, and at each house the lion head is bent over the entrance to purify the place and water drops from a dipped branch of tsuge (Japanese box tree) are sprayed against the eaves, a magical procedure to suppress fire from spreading.