Traditional Okinawan Performing Arts: Lion Dance

Kabira, Ishigaki City. The lion “wakes up” at the start of the practice for the festival for requests and expressions of thanks to the gods (Keigan Festival) held in the 8th month of the lunisolar calendar.

This lion dance is performed only between the Keigan Festival and the Season’s Festival (shichi matsuri), when people give thanks to the gods for a good harvest and the good health of the people. After the Season’s Festival, the lions “go to sleep.”

The lions are male and female and are performed in pairs called tsukasa.

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