Here is an introduction to “Hino Shishi-mai (Lion Dance)” and “Nishindai-Kagura”, which are both traditional performing arts of Kawachinagano.
Hino Shishi-mai (Hino Lion Dance) is an important intangible folk-cultural property designated by the city of Kawachinagano. This Lion Dance has been passed down for several centuries in the Hino district. They say it has strong connections with “Rokusai-Nembutsu” (Nembutsu Folk Dance) and “Ningyo-Shibai” (Doll Play) and it is also called “Rokusai-Nembutsu Shishi”.
It is comprised with 6 dances: Sugaki-no-mai, Rambu-no mai, Shogi-no-mai, Hana-no-mai, Jisugomori-no-mai and Kaze-no-mai. Shime-daiko drum, Doh-naga-daiko drum, Japanese flute, Hoko-suzu bells and Suri-gane cymbals are used in its music. The dancers wear a happi coat and a pair of “Tattsuke-bakama”; formal men’s divided skirt bound on to the legs half way to the bottom, and dance with a lion head over the head and with their sleeves tucked up. It’s a performance with full of local color and it is dedicated to the shrine wishing for the prosperity of the descendants and the productiveness of grain. Especially the scene in the Jigomori-no-mai, where the fox and the lion frolic artfully, expresses the pray for the descendants’ prosperity..
Since Kasuga-jinja shrine in the Hino district was united into Takoh-jinja shrine in 1908, the dance takes place at the Minode Hall, Hino Community Center in the festival-eve and is dedicated at Takoh-jinja shrine in the afternoon on the festival day.