Jitchaku Lion Dance Preservation Society celebrates its 40th anniversary
February 26, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
The Jitchaku Lion Dance Preservation Society celebrated its 40th anniversary at a community center in Urasoe City on February 23. This shishi-mai lion dance marked the 40th anniversary of it being designated as a National Important Intangible Folk-Cultural Property. The society received the Award for Cultural Merit from the Okinawa Prefectural Government in 2013. The members of the society performed the heroic shishi-mai accompanied by the sanshin and gong, attracting people in the community. The children from the Jitchaku Nursery School performed shishi-mai. Local children performed traditional drama. The members of the society gave a powerful performance of Hoyjeanmae to pray for a good crop of grain and for good health of people in the community. The audience applauded enthusiastically.
Zenko Gushiken, the president of the Preservation Society said, “The Jitchaku Lion Dance Preservation Society was set up after the Battle of Okinawa. Originally its aim was to cheer people up. We will continue to preserve the lion dance that is said to date back about 400 years or more.” Kunihiko Yogi, 16, and Masato Toma, 25, who performed the Hoyjeanmae, were very proud of the fact that they could perform in the 40th anniversary, which is a milestone. They said they would like to learn from their seniors to improve their performance.
(English translation by T&CT)
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