3:00 PM- Urahama Shishi Odori and Urahama Nenbutsu Kenbai in the garden at Mr. Furumizu’s home


12 children from the Nenbutsu Kenbai and 6 adults from the Shishi Odori graciously performed for us. Unfortunately it was raining, but we put up a tent at the end of the garden and observed from under there, where they put on their costumes.
At the same time we filmed it with three cameras. Cecilia came into contact with Japan’s local folk performing arts for the first time. Afterwards, we all had a get-together.


I asked all the performers in the Shishi Odori about why they started local folk performing arts and what they think. With answers such as “Shishi Odori is my everything,” they all have very passionate feelings for local folk performing arts. There were 3 families here who had 3 generations participating.


Then, all of the mothers were working promptly, decidedly preparing and putting away the costumes, and making preparations for the get-together, so that it had the feeling of one big family. It felt like we caught a glimpse of how folk performing arts are in the local areas. After that, we went from the garden to Mr. Furumizu’s house, and as we asked about different things, the mood suddenly turned to “shall we try and do it?” and flute and drums began to be played. Pulled along by that music, first the children began dancing, and Cecilia and Manishia began dancing by imitating their movements. It became a huge entertaining show with flute, drums, Mr. Furumizu’s singing, the children’s dancing, fathers, and mothers all mixed together. I think it is really wonderful that this can be done with everyone, from small children to older adults.


Since the party outside was getting cold, we moved inside. As we were talking, drinking, and eating for a while, suddenly a man the same age as Mr. Furumizu (Ah, I can’t remember his name) let us listen to him playing the flute.


After listening for a little while, Mr. Furumizu suddenly said (in the local dialect) “Let’s try and dance a little” and the living room turned into a practice space. Mr. Furumizu’s wife, his son Shu who is currently leading the Shishi Odori, his granddaughter Lee, and the family members of today’s performance also joined in, and it became a huge spectacle.


“Make your body lower to the ground!!” “Shake your head!!” “Local Folk Performing Arts are vigor and stamina!!” The children became the teachers and instructed us. We put on the headpiece for Nenbutsu Kenbai, held a sword, and at the end were even able to put on a mask that you are usually not allowed to wear unless you have been doing the dance for 10 years.


We kept dancing while saying “Still a long way to go!” and while bursting into laughter. Mr. Furumizu taught us one move after the next while dancing and playing the drum. It was really an amazing night.