※Selected based on designs made by the Japan Folk Performing Arts Association.
The Shishimai is one of the most prevalent performances in Japan where a dancer wears a costumed lion head during the act. The dance is primarily performed in a specific region or a house to ward off epidemic diseases or evil spirits as well as in prayer for peace. There are two main versions of the Shishimai, the first originates from ancient lion music from China and it is known as Futari-Tachi where one dancer wears the lion's head, and another handles the tail. There's even a version of this where many people are beneath the lion's skirt creating a centipede lion which is known as Tasuu-Tachi. The other main variety of the Shishimai is known as Hitori-Tachi and it is performed by one person controlling the lion's head. There's also one called the Sanbiki-Shishimai which involves three lion heads, and even a 5 or up to 8-person deer/lion dance (Shishi-Odori), which are all mainly performed in the northern parts of the Kanto region.