Blog Archives

Shishi-Odori coming to Seattle Center

Shishi-Odori is a popular performing art commonly handed down from generation to generation in the Tohoku (northeast) region of Japan. Though varied in styles and forms, the main feature of the dance is the dancer’s mask called Shishi-Gashira (deer mask), representing an imaginary creature as a divine messenger. The drum hung at the waist and two long bamboo sticks called Sasara on the back weigh about 20 kilograms (44 pounds). The dynamic dance is enjoyed by the public to this day.

Shishi-Odori is performed as a ritual on different occasions, such as a memorial service for ancestral
spirits or in order to purify evil spirits, or sometimes in expression of gratitude for an abundant harvest. Although there are many different stories of the origin of Shishi-Odori, each shows a strong connection between the people who lived in that region and the nature around them.

We are delighted to invite two dancers, Mr. Shutaro Koiwa and Mr. Yasuo Sato from The 300-year old Gyozan Maikawa School Shishi Odori Preservation Group to perform a participatory demonstration. As it will be an opportunity not to be missed, be sure to come discover the spectacular Japanese performing art of Shishi-Odori!

The schedule of performance during the Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival is here.

Masks and Puppets at the Burke Museum

Greetings from the Burke Museum! We have some exciting events coming up at the Burke that we hope you can attend! We are now offering special gallery activities every week. This month, discover masks and puppets from around the world. On October 27, learn about NW Coast and Yup’ik masks with Robin K. Wright, Burke curator of Native American Art and Justin McCarthy, Ethnology Collections Outreach Coordinator. We hope that you share this event with your friends as well as those interested in masks and puppets!.
Below is a link to the event:
Mask at Burke Museum. Photo by Andrew Waits