City Report 5: Sanbiki Shishimai
On August 16th, 2019, I attended the 12th annual Sanbiki Shishimai Dance (Three Lion Dance). I’ve been living in Kashiwa since 2012, but it was the first time I’d heard about this dance. The actual event is from 3 pm to 4 pm, but a lot of people were already on the temple grounds waiting for the dancers ahead of time. I used the time before the spectacle to take some pictures of Seikouin Temple.
The dancers finally arrived accompanied by a whole orchestra of flute players, all celebrated like superstars.
Before the lion dance, the show started with the monkey dance. The crowd was mesmerized by the performance, which featured monkeys, foxes, and other creatures common in Japanese folklore.
As soon as the show started, the audience only focused on the dancers.
Finally, it was the lions turn. I got out my telescope lens to get some closeup pictures. I was so invested in my photographing that I forgot to watch the actual dance. The lions danced one by one at first, but all three of them joined forces in the climax.
The whole performance took an hour, but it felt like it was over in an instant. As soon as the dance was over, everyone cleaned up and left the temple grounds and Seikouin returned to its usual state of tranquility.
Date of coverage: 16th August 2019
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Hey! I’m Malte, the weird Germany guy. I moved to Kashiwa at the end of 2012 and have been living here since.
Graduating from Reitaku University in 2018, I entered the University of Tokyo’s graduate school to do some additional research.
I absolutely fell in love with the kind people of Kashiwa. Everyone welcomed me with open arms, and I got financially and emotionally saved more than once. Through my articles and pictures, I try to show everyone what kind of beautiful place Kashiwa can be.