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Mason Hall, Fredonia, NY 14063

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The first of two evening concerts during the Festival Music of Japan Academy Week. Event is free and open to the public. Get more information about Academy Week.

This special concert provides a rare opportunity to see and hear the cultural, musical, and dance elements of the traditional shishimai (lion dance) of Tokyo. Tonight’s performance by Eien Hunter-Ishikawa, will highlight his many years of study in the traditional practices of the Wakayama-Shachu.*** This art form has an extensive history dating back hundreds of years. With an original function to deliver positive energy from the Shinto shrine and to purify homes from negative spirits during Oshogatsu (new year’s celebration), shishimai is also highly entertaining to watch. The extraordinary Wakayama Ryu version continues to respect the ceremonial origin of the art form. 

Although the word Bayashi has many possible meanings and appears in the titles on tonight’s program, when associated with festival music, it most often refers to processions with floats or carts that have a small stage for the musicians. Edo Matsuri Bayashi, or Edo Bayashi for short, refers to the 300 year old traditional festival music of historic Tokyo. “Edo” is the name for Tokyo under rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603 -1868).


***Wakayama Shachu is one of four companies designated by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan as a significant intangible folk cultural asset for Edo Sato-kagura.


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