NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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会津彼岸獅子 Aizu-higan-jishi The Spring Equinox in Aizu

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The sound of the flute can be heard during the week of the spring equinox. For the people living near by, it is a sign of spring. Two men and one woman dress as 'shishi' lions and dance and play the flute.

There are two general stories relating to this performance, both of which date back to 1674. It is said that when Hoshina Masayuki, clan lord of Aizu, moved to Aizu, he got 'Shishimai' to enter the castle first. The second story is that after the long trip entering the Aizu castle, Hoshina ordered the Shishimai to perform a dance for the tired soldiers.

Usually Shishimai is performed from March 18th to 24th. The performers start to practice for the Shishimai well before, beginning from the New Year.
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