Case Studies

Hachirogata-machi, Akita Prefecture

Hachirogata-machi Regional Development Council

Reveal the Traditional Performing Art for about 260 Years and the Town’s Comical Street Performaning through the Rice Paddy Arts

  • Sights

Hachirogata-machi showed us the rice paddy art featuring the ritual bon odori “Torako Odori” in this area in 2016, and in 2017 it featured the famous comic “Tsurikichi Sanpei” by Takao Yaguchi, a native of Akita Prefecture. This year it’s their third time to show rice paddy art, so they are featuring the “Gannin Odori” ritual dance which was designated as Akita Prefectural Important Cultural Properties.

“Gannin” means “Yamabushi,” Japanese mountain ascetic hermits. There was a ritual custom that Gannin (the lower class “Yamabushi”) who would go on a pilgrimage to Ise Jingu Shrine on behalf of those who could not afford to visit. The performance that they did as they visited neighbors around Ise Jingu Shrine, performing the dance together with a funny short play and distributing amulets to neighbors, became “GanjinOdori.” It is a street performance with a comical short play and free-style, rhythmic dancing.
“Sainokami Nouson Park” offers you a nice view from the observation deck on a small hill, at a 100-meter-distance, visitors can admire the rice paddy art thanks to its construction which offers a great perspective. You can view it from the middle of June at the earliest.
Hachirogata-machi also organizes the observation event during the Obon season as it is a custom that Japanese come back to their hometown, to give them more opportunity to observe their works of art. As well as there are local events such as events for kids and the folklore performances at the well-equipped stage in the park. Visitors will feel like visiting this sites as much as possible to adore the changing landscapes of the rice fields until their harvesting in September.

Hachirogata-machi Regional Development Council


Sainokami, Ura-oomachi Aza, Hachirogata-machi, Akita Prefecture
At the observation deck at ‘Hachirogata-machi Sainokami Nouson Park’
(See the sign along the Japan National Route 7)