Suitable antlers for deer dance reached from Ohsaka

By Kikki - Last updated: 水曜日, 8月 3, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

[From Ohfunato City-my stricken home town]

– East Japan Great Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster-

An assistant professor Mr. Isao Hayashi and his members of National Museum of Ethnology in Suita City, collected antlers from all over Japan  

26 pairs of antlers were reached to Ohfunato City from National Museum of Ethnology in Suita City, Ohsaka on July 31. The antlers were collected by a group under an assistant professor Mr. Isao Hayashi to support traditional Japanese folk dance ‘Shishi-odori’ or deer dance. Antlers are delivered to two preservation groups of deer dance in Sasazaki, Ohfunto Town and Nagahama, Akasaki Town. Both groups lost all costumes and special tools for performance at the tsunami on March 11.

An assistant prof. Isao Hayashi from National Museum of Ethnology


‘Shishi-odori’ or deer dance is one of the traditional Japanese folk dances which have broadly distributed in Miyage and Iwate Prefectures. It is said that the deer dance is originated from a local event of exorcise and pray for peace a village. The Shishi-odori is categorized in two groups; a dance with drums and a dance with curtain, and the former is common in Kesen District. It is characterized in that dancers sing a song and beat small drums under their abdomens while they are dancing.

The members of both groups really appreciated for support from a distant place and reconfirmed their determination of revival.

As a person to contact about this supporting activity in Iwate Prefecture, Ms. Maki Iizaka (57), a secretariat from the society for the study of performing arts peculiar to a locality and life in Iwate Prefecture, handed over antlers to both groups at the Southern Sasazaki Community Center.

Representing to both preservation groups, Mr. Masahi Satoh from Sasazaki and Mr. Katsuya Kinno from Nagahama, carefully examined given antlers in their hands.

Mr. Satoh, a master of deer dance and a craftsman for costume, will start making costumes after selecting suitable antlers among them. ‘This is really a great help to us from a distant place.’ Mr. Satoh appreciated their effort collecting antlers suitable for deer dance performance in shape and size. ‘We really appreciated for supports from all over Japan. We like to start our activity for revival of our deer dance.’ Mr. Kinno also expressed his determination.


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