Shirasagi-no Mai (White Heron Dance) 白鷺の舞


Shirasagi-no Mai is a ceremonial parade inaugurated in November 1968 by the Asakusa Tourist Federation in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration, and thus the moving of the nation's capital from Kyoto to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo. The origin of this ritual dance is found in a historic picture scroll owned by Sensoji Temple, called Keian Engi Emaki, which depicts the scene of ritual parade to pray for the peace after the move of the temple. Three warriors, one pole carrier, one feeder, one parasol carrier, eight white herons, nineteen musicians, guardian children and others—the procession of dancers dressed in traditional costume of the Heian period (the late 8th to the late 12th century) representing white herons is stunning and worth seeing.