At various festivals around the Japanese Islands, shishimai dances are performed to consecrate the festival ground and open the festival. A wooden lion mask and wooly-looking costume of woven and dyed banana/choma strips is worn, and the dance is performed to loud music featuring gongs, drums, bells, flutes, sanshin, and various other instruments. Some lion dances feature two or more dancers as the lion.
- ©John Lander
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