Kozawa Shishiodori Preservation Society

Miyako City, Iwate

According to one legend, Minamoto no Yoshitsune was not killed in Hiraizumi but escaped and fled northward. The story goes that he shut himself up in Kuromori Shrine on the way and transcribed the Daihannya-kyo (Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra) to pray for peace and quiet ahead. In Kozawa, the shishi dancers entertained Yoshitsune and his men; Yoshitsune was extremely delighted and gave the dancers various advice about their motions and melodies. Thus the Kozawa Shishiodori was refined yet further, becoming the gallant and splendid dance that has been handed down to the present day.