Matsumori-machi Tsugaru Shishimai


The Matsumori-machi Tsugaru Shishimai is an Intangible Folk Cultural Property designated by the city of Hirosaki.
It is not known whether this shishi (wild animal) dance belongs to the lineage of the bear shishi or deer shishi. It is composed of two male shishi and a female one, backed up by two shishi as additional drummers, and a monkey called okashiko. The first three wear small taiko drums, while the other two wear large ones. The instrumental accompaniment consists solely of flutes.
Its first dance of the year is around May, and its last dance around October. Dances are dedicated to the gods at the Inari and Munakata Shrines in festivals held in June. Its repertoire includes the “Highway-crossing Song,” “Mountain-crossing Song,” “Bridge-crossing Song” and “Female shishi-hiding Song.”

Glossary of terms in Japanese Folk Performing Arts