Local Groups in Iwate Prefecture Wow New Year’s Crowds with Folk Dances

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Shishi Odori deer dance is performed at the Kozuchi Shrine in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, on Jan. 1.

OTSUCHI, Iwate — The Toramai tiger dance and the Shishi Odori deer dance were among the performances given at the Kozuchi Shrine in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, by local preservation groups for traditional folk dances on Jan. 1.

The performances were striking and conveyed wishes for peace in the New Year as well as recovery from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. They drew tremendous applause from shrine-goers who watched amid a light snowfall.

Kenta Sekiya, a 29-year-old performer of the Mukaigawara Toramai tiger dance, said, “I danced wishing that people would have a healthy good year, not suffering from COVID-19.”

“I’d like to do my best in my performances this year too, so that people enjoy watching me dance,” said Kaisei Kurata, a 16-year-old who took part in the Usuzawa Shishi Odori deer dance.