Literally, Ennen is a dance to pray or celebrate for people’s long life. In ancient times, it was performed by aristocrats at the banquets after ceremonial events (Sechie) and by monks at the banquets after religious events (Hōe). The word ‘Ennen’ is derived from ‘Karei Ennen’ (delaying the ageing and extending the life). With this dance, people wished to soften the mind, pray for longevity and happiness, and remove bad luck. Ennen is characterized by the participation of young children and admixtures with such other performance arts as Sarugaku, Bugaku, and Furyū. In fact, there is no clearly established category of Ennen, and for that reason what is called as such was also called Ranyū (dance of a variety) in old times. In Akita, we have only one folkloric performance art that falls in the category of Ennen. Some would say that Dainichidō-Bugaku, due to its mixture with Dengaku and Shishimai, may be considered as an Ennen, but it should be considered in the category of New Year celebratory performing arts.

Kotaki-Choukurairo Dance