Lion Dance
(Shishi-mai)

Strike an impressive pose


Lion dance is performed to exorcise evil spirits, to pray for a rich harvest or for rain,
to celebrate the New Year or a happy marriage, etc.
If you are biten by the lion, you are lucky.

There was a custom to cerebrate the New Years, which called "Kadozuke", prevalent among many parts of
the Aichi area including Nagoya until early 1960s.
During the first several days of the New Year, a team of lion dancers and simple band
went from house to house. After watching the performance, we put money and rice in the lion's mouth.
The "Kadozuke" custom was disappeared, but local people still keep the kadozuke dance,
and we can watch them in the event.


The lion was introduced to Japan from China with Buddhism.
But the origin might be traced to the Sphinx in Egypt.

When it came to Japan, it was a guardian of Paradise.
Then people believed that its has special magical power
and adopted the lion dance.

It has been said that if the lion bites your head,
it brings you happiness,
good luck and perfect state of health.



Handsome lion's profile. Pick up his ears and making a happy face (?) Hello, boy ! Are you scared of me ?



He is biting me ! The guy looks so happy.






Shishimai in Wakayama Pref. Photo: courtesy of Hiroko














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