Nagahama Shishiodori Preservation Society

Ofunato City, Iwate

The Nagahama Shishiodori is said to have been introduced to the region over two centuries ago from Arisu in Sumita, via Maikawa in Nishiiwai district (both Iwate Prefecture). It is a Gyozan School shishiodori that is related to the Maikawa Shishiodori. Yasufumi Shida (house of Kashi) serves as the current grandmaster and head of activities, and the tradition is passed down by youths from the Odachi and Nagahama areas. The Nagahama Shishiodori Preservation Society was founded in January 1949, and all households in the Odachi and Nagahama areas now belong to the society; the locals all work together to keep the traditional culture alive, training people who can continue the legacy. Its shishigashira headpiece is smaller than in other shishiodori, and the dance is spirited and energetic. The shishigashira incorporates the mysticism of the shishi gongenmai, and the “white rabbit riding waves” motif on the headpiece’s curtain and hakama skirt is extremely distinctive and rare.