Women dance gracefully and elegantly with rustic but cheerful musical accompaniment at Nishimonai Bon Festival. It is the signature summer event in Ugo Town, Akita Prefecture. An ancient belief is that an ascetic let people dance in the shrine grounds as a prayer for a rich harvest in the medieval period. And this belief was merged into the dance for the dead performed in the early modern period at temples during the Bon festival, to commemorate the fallen feudal lord. Feeling liberated with a semicircular straw hat or a Hikosa hood covering their faces, women dance with heart and soul as if they are reluctant to say farewell to the passing Bon season.
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