Japan resurrects lion dances from regions affected by 2011 earthquake

Lion dancers of Onagawa, Miyagi-Prefecture perform Shishikofuri style during an event for Tokyo Shishimai collection 2020 at the Tokyo National Museum. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

May 12 (UPI) — Several Japanese prefectures ravaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 resurrected traditional lion dances on Sunday.

The dances involving colorful costumes modeled after lions, tigers, deer, cats and the mythical Japanese creature known as the kirin were performed as part of the Tokyo Shishimai collection 2020 at the Tokyo National Museum.

“The 2020 Tokyo Lion Dance Collection provides a chance to encounter various lion dances from the Tohoku region,” the museum said.

The event featured lion dances from the Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, all of which were affected by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Many lion dance props and materials were washed away in the natural disaster, but residents worked to craft new ones for Sunday’s performance.

The event was held as part of the Japan Cultural Expo, a government-sponsored arts and culture festival set to coincide with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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