Lifestyles and Traditions - Culture
The dengaku dance dedicated to Mita Hachiman Shrine and Hiyoshi Shrine is called Shūhaira, and is a performing art that originated from rituals to appease the spirits of rice fields. The details of the origin and traditions are unknown, but according to the “Record of Festivals at Hachiman Shrine”, which is kept at Mita Hachiman Shrine, the ritual was already being held in the late Muromachi Period.
The ritual consists of three parts: kan-no-sumo (ceremonial sumo), Shishimai lion dance and dengaku. It is said that each area in the former Mita Village had a different role related to the ceremony. Inhabitants of Ichibu area are responsible for serving food, those who live in Komukai area are the musicians and ceremonial sumo wrestlers, residents of Ōtsu area are the dancers etc, with dancers being the most important role. On the day of the ceremony, a wooden stage is set up in front of the worship hall of Hachiman Shrine, and dengaku dance is dedicated after kan-no-sumo and Shishimai lion dance.