Rice Planting Dance

A performing art imitating the conduct of planting rice seedlings in rice paddy fields as an "Advanced Prayer" in the hope for bountiful harvest. The dance is usually performed during the New Year, where the "Niwataue" dance is done outdoors while the "Zashikitaue" dance is done indoors. The rice planting dance in Iwate is separated into the Kesen, Higashiiwai style, Isawa style, Waga style and Central style (surroundings of Morioka City) while those distinct from the Central style are known as Niwataue. During the dance ritual, characters such as "Magozo", "Yajuro" and "Enburi" act as the facilitators and when they announce the commencement of the ritual, young participants acting as the characters of "Yatsu" and "Ayatori" who hold decorated poles and the character of Shotome starts dancing while a clown actor called Ippachi livens up the mood. The ritual of imitating the rice harvesting process is held in the order of preparing the rice seedling, planting the rice seedling and harvesting rice in the form of dancing.