NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


花取り踊り(愛媛県城川町) Hanatori-odori (Ehime-ken Shirokawa-cho) Hanatori Odori in Shirokawa in Ehime Prefecture

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Hanatori Odori is a kind of sword dance handed down in Ehime Prefecture since the Middle Ages. It is a gallant dance performed to pray for good health. Today several towns in the prefecture have handed down their own Hanatori Odori dances, each of which is slightly different from town to town.

In Shirokawa Town in Seiyo City, Hanatori Odori is performed in the precinct of Hachiman Shrine on August 21, the memorial day of Kobodaishi, as a part of the Buddhist ritual held at the Taishi-do Hall next to the shrine.

When straw mats are spread on the ground and the Japanese drums and gongs are placed, Ohayashi music starts at the call of the leader and the dancers carrying bamboo branches decorated with colorful paper strips on their backs stand in two lines. The dancers are local junior and senior high school students. Then at the call of the leader, they perform six kinds of gallant dances by wielding swords or grain sickles. Hanatori Odori is designated as an intangible cultural property by the city.

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Oriai, Shirokawa-cho, Seiyo, Ehime Prefecture 797-1717
Hachiman Shrine

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