Usuzawa Shishiodori


Allegedly there used to be a form of dance which had been conveyed by a sailor from Boshu (the tip of Boso peninsula, current Chiba prefecture) during the Genroku era (1688-1704). Today’s Usuzawa Shishiodori is said to have originated from the dance in Boshu which the villagers of Otsuchi learned during their travel to the Kashima Shrine in the Tenmei era (1781-1789).
Today, they dedicate the dance at Otsuchi Festival of the Kozuchi Shrine and join the procession of mikoshi (a portable shrine) as its advance unit, dedicating the dance at stations of mikoshi and visiting houses for ritual. The dance is also dedicated at the festival of a branch shrine of the Kozuchi Shrine in Usuzawa community. Although the number of households in Usuzawa community is limited, all of them are contributing to the Preservation Society. It includes some members visiting from other communities. The dance is intense and wild with swinging hair-like ribbons called kan’nagara, made of shaved Japanese poplar.