Shishimai（獅子舞） is a dance which is held at the festive occasions wearing a shishi head and a broad cloth. Shishi is an imaginary creature that looks like a lion. It is believe to have the power to get rid of evil and plague. You can see a pair of stone shishies at the entrances of temples or shrines. In this case, it is called Komainu, or koma dog.
It is said that shishi dance originated in India and was introduced to Japan through three routes; China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. It has been developed in each district uniquely and taken root in Japan.
It is often danced by one or two person(s). The shishi head is made to open its mouth wide. When I was a child, I was told that I’d be smart if the shishi bit my head softly.
The photo above shows shishi head is about to bite the head of a man. 上の写真は獅子頭がちょうど男性の頭をかじろうとしているところです。
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too. 函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。