Local performing arts

Kamaishi is known for folk performing arts such as kagura, deer dance, and tiger dance. Various theories about the origin of the tiger dance, dating back to the Heian period (794-1185) or the middle of the Edo period (1603-1868). In Japan, people say the tiger goes and returns a thousand miles in a day. They believe the animal has fire-fighting spiritual power. The tiger dance is a local performing art handed down since ancient times for fire protection.


The musical accompaniment consists of large drums, small drums, flutes, and metals, augmented by shouts. The performance features tigers innocently playing around, bouncing before being killed by chasers, and brushing their teeth while seeking prey. The art graces the Kamaishi Festival, Folk Performing Arts Festival, National Tiger Dance Festival, and village events.

Folk Performing Arts of Kamaishi