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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 .


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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



. . . . . . . . . . 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 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



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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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