Sendai, Japan, is one of Tainan’s international friend cities. Yanagiu Mazura established in 2000 is a folklore group of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Its members include children as well as elders, and the audiences usually see them perform Sparrow Dance and acrobats in Sendai local festivals. Yanagiu Mazura performs in Sendai Aoba Festival each May, and other festivals of its kind. Besides, it received The Award of Excellence For Student Groups in Sendai Aoba Festival 2014.
Sparrow Dance originated from the relocation ceremony of Sendai Castle in 1603. Stonemasons from other cities performed a dance in front of the lord of Sendai, Date Masamune. Sparrow Dance is inspired by the family crest of Date clan, a pair of sparrow and bamboo. The dancers used fans as wings and imitate the movements of sparrows when they are eating food. Accompanied by vivid flutes, drums, and loud calling sounds, dancers encouraged and inspired the audience to have fun with them during the performance.
Since then, Sparrow Dance has been handed down by stonemasons of Sendai Hachimanmachi, and has been performed in local ceremony of Osaki Hachimangu. The dance once fails to be handed down after World War II, fortunately, it revived in 1987. With 400 years of history, Sparrow Dance has become one of Sendai’s representative folklore dances.