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10/13/2011

Shishigashira - lion head

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Shishigashira 獅子頭 lion head mask


. WKD : Shishigashira 獅子頭 lion head .
kigo for the New Year


quote


female on the left, male on the right

During the last 1000 years more than 100 kinds of Shishimai have been carried out in Japan.
The play when the Shishigashira is worn is called Shishimai.
The dance wearing the Shishi Gashira (Lion Head) is also know as Shishimai.
Shishi means Lion, Kashira (.gashira) means head, so Shishigashira is Lion Head.

People use Shishimai when they pray for a good harvest, to purify their spirit and to drive out evil spirits.
Here we show the most popular Shishigashira.
They were made from one piece of wood, not pieces fitted together.
Mainly there are 2 sizes,
UZU  宇津 (MASTU) is 36cm wide and
GONKURO 権九郎 is 30cm wide.
source : www.nohmask21.com/

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Many shrines have a lion mask dance for their main festival, their autumn festival or the New Year celebrations.



Here are the two dancers of our local shrine in Ohaga 大垪和 
Sakai Jinja 境神社 岡山

. 秋祭り Autumn Festival .



Lion head dance with a sword
Wadakita Ichinomiya Shrine

(I live just 5 minutes from this local shrine, but the lion dance here and at the narby Sakai shrine are an important cultural event in Okayama.)



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Lion Dance, from the series "Modern Children's Games"
Tôsei kodomo asobi, Shishimai 「当世子供遊び」 獅子舞,
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861, signed Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi 一勇斎国芳画),

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- ABC - List of lion heads from the Prefectures

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. . . . . . . . . . Aichi 愛知県



唐獅子童子 Child carrying a karajishi
about 30 cm high, made by 禰宜田佐太郎 Negita san

. Hekinan 碧南大浜土人形  Ohama Clay Dolls .

. Shrine 八王寺社 Hachiojisha - shishigashira 獅子頭 lion head. .
Aichi 知多郡 Chita district 南知多町 Minami-Chita - and a legend about Yakushi Nyorai

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成岩(ならわ)神社 Shrine Narawa Jinja 成岩神社

- quote -
Oo-jishi-ko-jishi-no-mai 大獅子小獅子の舞 Dance of Big Shishi and Small Shishi

The Oo-jishi Ko-jishi Dance (Dance of big shishi lion and small shishi lion) takes place once a year at the spring festival of 半田市 Handa City.
Its performance is dedicated to the Narawa Shrine.
There are a number of shishi dances dedicated to religious rituals, yet this Oo-jishi Ko-jishi Dance has an especially long history. It is recorded that the dance had already been performed by the middle of the Edo period and it was formally influenced by styles that existed even earlier.
The dance is performed by two dancers together comprising the legendary four-legged lions. It is done in a style called Gigaku Shishi.
The ritual starts with the Oo-jishi dancers being accompanied by a boy wearing a white crest on his head and holding an instrument called sasara. Oo-jishi Dance consists of four dances: Ran-jishi; Hana-jishi (Flower Shishi); Tobi-shishi (Kite Shishi) and Ken-shishi (Sword Shishi).
After the Oo-jishi Dance comes the Ko-jishi Dance.
Okame and Hyottoko (a pair of female and male characters) play clowns while Ko-jishi performs twelve dances to an upbeat tempo. The dances, said to symbolize farmers praying for rain, show a dragon writhing on ground and trying to gather clouds and ascend to the sky.
In 1967, the dance was designated as an Intangible Folklore Cultural Asset by the Aichi prefecture.
4-106-8 Miyamoto-cho, Handa, Aichi
- source : nippon-kichi ... -

- quote -
The Narawa district is the current 3rd and 4th Districts of Narawa. In early-modern times, it was a community formed on both sides of the main street called the Higashiura-kaido Road, and there were communities called Honnarawa on the north side and Banba on the south side where the road crosses the Godo River. Honnarawa is referenced in the "Kanbun Muramura Oboegaki" written in the beginning of the early-modern times. The "Honnarawa Shinjisairei Shikijo" (1849 and 1857) describes the order in which Kitamura, Minami-gumi, Higashi-Banba and Nishi-Banba paraded and took down their floats at the festival. Furthermore, the festival styles are described in the "Shinji ni Kansuru Kitamura/Minami-gumi Ryoukumi no Joyakusho" (1890), and have been inherited as tradition to this day. The festival of the 3rd and 4th Districts of Narawa are held for two days on a Saturday and Sunday in mid April every year, and main events include a parade of the four floats (Kitamura Narusha, Minami-gumi Nansha, Nishi-gumi Kamiguruma, Higashi-gumi Asahiguruma), and Shinto rituals at the Narawa-jinja Shrine.

At the Narawa-jinja Shrine, Kitamura dedicates large lion and small lion dances (prefectural intangible folk-cultural property), while Minami-gumi dedicates a Karakuri puppet show. Traditions can be seen in the encounter between the two districts' floats at the Zenroku Shoten corner, as well as in the Kagura (Shinto music and dance), which is one of the highlights of the Narawa District Festival. Prior to proceeding to the Narawa-jinja Shrine, in both the Yoi Festival and Main Festival, the Kagura procession floats meet at the intersection in front of Zenroku Shoten in Yuraku-cho. The 4th District Kagura from the north, and 3rd District Kagura from the south meet at the intersection and the district chiefs, shrine parishioner representatives, and leading members of the festival exchange greetings, before the procession proceeds to the shrine. The 3rd District Kagura procession is led by people holding lanterns on long rods, and is followed by people performing the Kagura, shrine maidens, and board members, while the 4th District Kagura is similarly led by people holding lanterns on long rods, followed by people performing the Kagura, children's lion dance, Yakata, and board members.
- source and more photos : dashi-aichi.jp/en... -

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. . . . . . . . . . Gunma / Gumma
. mushikiri shishigashira 虫切り獅子頭
lion head "to cut away insects"




. . . . . . . . . . Gifu
shishigashira 獅子頭 lion head mask
. . . CLICK here for Photos !



. . . . . . . . . . Fukui
. Unpin shishimai 雲浜獅子舞 Unpin lion dance dolls



. . . . . . . . . . Fukuoka
. Hikosan no itajishi, ita shishi 英彦山の板獅子
lion head on a wooden plate .




. . . . . . . . . . Fukushima
. kubi furi shishimai 三春張子首振獅子舞 lion dancers moving their head .
Miharu town 三春


shishi kaburi 獅子かぶり carrying a Shishi on the head
Nekkocho ningyo 根っ子町土人形 / Nekocho 根子町人形




. . . . . . . . . . Ishikawa
. Kaga no shishigashira 加賀の獅子頭 lion head mask .

. . . CLICK here for Photos !
and dolls with a lion head mask





. . . . . . . . . . Kagawa
. Sanuki no shishigashira 讃岐の獅子頭 lion head from Sanuki .

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. . . . . . . . . . Kanagawa
Kamakura, shrine Kamakura-Gu 鎌倉宮


Kamakuraguu no itajishi, ita no shishi 鎌倉宮の板獅子
lion head mask on a wooden plate
shishigashira no o-mamori
This amulet makes a sound when the mouth claps back on the plate - gata gata - to ward off evil influence. So it will protect children when they use it to play.
The strong red color also helps to protect its owner from from traffic accidents (kootsuu anzen) and brings good luck.


The deity of this shrine, Morinaga Shinnoo 護良親王, a deified warrior, had a lion head as a symbol on his helmet.


Look at a large ema votive tablet with the lion head:
Reference : Kamakuragu Shrine


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. . . . . . . . . . Kumamoto
from Noboritate town 登立

from shrine Aoi Aso Jinja 青井阿蘇神社
They are made from papermachee, by Ikegushi Naoto san 池口真人.
The large ones are about 12 cm, the small ones 6 cm.
They are sold during the Autumn Festival at the shrine, therefore also called "Shugojishi" 守護獅子, Lions as protector deities.
Nowadays they are also sold during the New Year celebrations.
source : www.asahi-net.or.jp


. . . CLICK here for Photos of the shrine !

Aoi Aso Shrine (青井阿蘇神社, Aoi Aso Jinja) is a Shinto shrine in Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. It is colloquially known as Aoi-san (青井さん). It was originally established as a prefectural shrine, but is currently designated as a national shrine (別表神社, Beppyo Jinja).

Five of the structures of Aoi Aso Shrine, the Main Hall (本殿, honden), Offering Hall (幣殿, heiden), Oratory (拝殿, haiden), the two-storied Rōmon (楼門) gate and the Corridor (廊, rō) are listed as National Treasures of Japan.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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. . . . . . . . . . Oita
. fukujishi, fuku shishi 福獅子 auspicious lion .
Bungo no Fukujishi 豊後の福獅子




. . . . . . . . . . Okinawa
. shishimeesaa, shishi meesaa シシメーサー lion dance .


. . . . . . . . . . Shiga
shishimai 獅子舞人形 lion dance
from Gokasho village 五個荘町 Gokashoo


. . . . . . . . . . Shimane
Izumo Taisha no ita shishi 大社の板獅子 lion head on a board
(also on the Tottori region close to the shrine)


. . . . . . . . . . Tochigi
hibuse shishi 火防獅子 lions heads to protect from fire





. . . . . . . . . . Toyama
. ippon kaku no shishigashira 一本角の獅子頭 lion head .
Etchu mayokejishi, mayoke no shishi 越中魔除獅子



. . . . . . . . . . Yamagata
. itajishi, ita shishi 板獅子 lion head on a wooden board




Sakata Shishigashira 酒田


source : e-yamagata.com/eyamab...

Also called Ginzan Shishi 銀山獅子 Lion Heads of the Silver Mine
Made for more than 200 years as an amulet to ward off evil influence. The ears of the male black lion are standing up, while the ears of the red female lion are hanging down.
Together they represent Yin and Yang.

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. Kirinjishi 麒麟獅子 Kirin Lion Head .
Tottori and Hyogo


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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

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Fukui 福井県 福井市 Fukui town

. Sarutahiko Jinja 猿田彦神社 .
福井県福井市冬野町29-2

- source : nichibun yokai database -
14 legends to explore

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. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Reference .



. . komainu, koma inu 狛犬 "Korean Dog" shrine guardian . .


SHISHI LIONS - SHRINE & TEMPLE GUARDIANS
WITH MAGICAL POWERS TO REPEL EVIL
Jp. = Shishi 獅子 or Kara Shishi 唐獅子, Chn. = Shísh
Also known as Koma-inu 狛犬 (lion dog) in Japan
- source : Mark Schumacher


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若夏の魔除獅子いかる屋根の上
wakanatsu no mayoke-jishi ikaru yane no ue

in the beginning of summer
an angry lion talisman
high on the roof


Kadokawa Genyoshi 角川源義






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. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .


. Men, omote 面 masks .


. Tohoku after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011

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