Deer Dance in Uwajima City, Ehime Prefecture

The Deer Dance, an intangible cultural heritage in Uwajima City, is a folk art activity of Uwatsuhiko Shrine. It has lasted for three hundred years and has been performed every October. According to Japan history, the Deer Dance of Uwajima has its origin in Sendai. In Edo period Japan, Date Masamune, the feudal lord of Sendai, supported the development of Deer Dance, and his son, Date Masamune, the first lord of Uwajima, brought Deer Dance to Uwajima.

The Deer Dance of Uwajima belongs to Taiko-Odori program. The performers wear deer horns decoration on the head, and upper part of their body were wrapped in a long robe which is connected to the head decoration. They drum while singing and dancing. Although the Deer Dance of Uwajima has its origin in northeast Japan, the movements and lyrics in the performance varies from place to place. For instance, the Deer Dance in northeast Japan is meant to display the beauty of power and force while the Deer Dance of Uwajima is meant to display the beauty of elegance and friendliness. The classic plot of Uwajima is HiddenDoe, which tells a story of hide-and- seek. There are seven stags in search of a doe, and they eventually meet under a tree.