3:00 PM- Okirai in the city of Ofunato, Meeting with Mr. Furumizu, the chairman of the Urahama Nenbutsu Kenbai (Sword Dance) and Urahama Shishi Odori, at his home


On the first day of our one month in the town Okirai (Ofunato city), the three of us, with Cecilia, conducted an interview with Chikara Furumizu, the representative of Urahama Nenbutsu Kenbai (Urahama Sword Dance) and Kanazu style Urahama Shishi Odori.


We talked to Mr. Furumizu about topics like the beginning of local folk performing arts, the reason that he started them, the meaning and significance of local folk performing arts for the region, and about the earthquake. We began at 3 pm on the veranda of his house, moved inside, and talked until 7 pm.


He first encountered local folk performing arts when he was 27 years old, and began receiving strict instruction from advanced dancers with 11 other people of about the same age. Hearing his talks about how he went to train in an unknown land in order to revive the lost Shishi Odori of his home town, Mr. Furumizu’s passion for local folk performing arts comes across intensely. When he was young, he said that they would repeatedly discuss with everyone which movement was correct, have this last until morning, go straight to their jobs, and then get together again afterwards.


They completely had the passion and lifestyle of artists, and it was not the level of doing local folk performing arts as a hobby on the side of work. In response to the question of why they went that far, Mr. Furumizu said “because local folk performing arts is completely one part of our lifestyles.”


Tomorrow we will actually have them show us the Shishi Odori and Nenbutsu Kenbai. I am worried about the rain.