Yoshihama Kodomo Yoroi Kenbai

Ofunato City, Iwate

The Yoshihama Yoroi Kenbai is known as the “Gashi Kenbai” (gashi meaning “famine”) because it began as a memorial service for those who died of starvation in the Tenmei and Tenpo eras, and it is also referred to as the “Hane Kenbai” (hane meaning “jumping”) due to its intense movements.
It stopped being performed during the Pacific War, but around Showa 23 (1948), young enthusiasts from the Uedori settlement worked to bring it back, and since then, it has been passed down to the present day.
The “Sakimai” is a slow dance, the “Nakamai” is a bit faster, and the “Hikimai” where the two main dancers dance vigorously, is the highlight of the performance.