“The Sansa Odori is a dance festival several hundred years old, held in and around the city of Morioka, in Iwate Prefecture.
It originates in a legend known as ‘Mitsuishi’, or ‘three rocks’. A ‘rasetsu’ demon appeared in the town below Morioka castle and began wreaking havoc throughout the area. The citizens asked the god of the Mitsuishi Shrine to drive the demon away.
The god made the demon swear never to work evil there again, and as proof of the vow, had him press his handprint into three rocks in the shrine precinct.
Delighted, the citizens began to dance around the rocks, chanting ‘san-sa san-sa’, thus giving the festival its name.
This is a festival of drums, flutes, colors, and energy.”