Nagasaki Shishi RenNagasaki Shishimai

photo by Yang Seungwoo

This Toshima City folk entertainment has been passed down through the generations since the Genroku era (1688-1704). The people of then-Nagasaki Village gathered at present-day Nagasaki Shrine to perform this shishimai dance to pray for many things including: banishment of plagues and natural disasters, good harvest, rain, warding off evil, and peace on earth. Young people dance fiercely as they wear wooden carved dragon heads decorated with jet black rooster tailfeathers that cascade from their heads and down their backs, and beat drums tied to their waists. They perform every year at the Nagasaki Shrine Festival on the second Sunday in May.

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