Sankō-Kumano Shrine Shishimai
Location: Ushijima-Higashi, Akita City
Site(s) of performance: Sankō-Kumano Shrine and other places in the community
Date(s): January 5–14
This shishimai (lion dance) is practiced in Ushijima around Sankō-Kumano Shrine. From around January 5 to 14, the lion dances to pray for the townsmen’s safety, health, and safe navigation. There are two types of dance. The outside dance is danced at the entrance or in the garden of individual houses, while the inside dance is danced in the house. The latter is offered to people who have recently built a house, recently married, or had a baby, and who need the service of exorcism because they are at certain ages (the 42nd year for men and 33rd year for women, and some other ages). The lion is a squealing lion, which emits a squeaking sound with its every movement. When there are rituals at the shrine, the same lion dances to purify the visitors before they attend the sacred services.