Hiwada Yajuro Hanagasa Rice Planting Dance

Theme : Traditional Art Area : Murayama, Sagae

Said to have begun during the mid Edo period, this dance reached the height of its popularity towards the end of the Edo era. Since then there have been many years when the dance was not held but continuation of the dance restarted from 1942 and in 1980, the dance was designated at one of Yamagata’ s prefectural intangible folklore cultural assets.

The dance consists of two people at the front wearing Yajuro masks (one is an old man, the other an old woman). Behind them dance young female rice planters wearing hanagasa (flower hats). A special characteristic of this dance is the old man (jiji) and old woman (baba) dancing together without being able to see what the other is doing.

From 1992, Daigo Elementary School, in Sagae city, set up a traditional rice planting event called, “Furusato Club” in which the Hiwada Yajuro flower hat rice planting dance will now be carried on down through the generations. Every year on September 14th, elementary and junior high school students dedicate their dance to the Hachiman Shrine in Sagae.

CopyrightYamagata Pref
ProductionYamagata Prefecture Lifelong Learning Culture Foundation