Japanese Traditional Lion Dance Oyagi Shishimai

Adapted from China, the shishimai (Lion dance) is often performed around the New Year by one or two lions accompanied by bamboo flutes and drums. It was performed as a prayer for household safety and a good harvest.

There are regional variations; one or two people wearing the lion costume, and one or two lions dancing. At the end of the dance, the lion “bites” the heads of some watchers, to bring luck.

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