Mon, Jul

Mizudome Conch Shell Dance

1:00pm – 3:00pm

The Mizudome Dance is one way to stop the rain.

What happens?

Around the rainy season each year, the city of Ota has an unusual and unique traditional ceremony that acts as a prayer to stop the rain. Two men inside straw barrels blow conch shells while water is thrown on them. They are then tipped on their sides and carried to Gonshoji Temple. A dance is then performed at the temple by three performers wearing lion masks.

History of the Mizudome Dance: Why is it a thing?

The conch shell ritual in 1972. | Photo by Provided by Ota Ward

The Mizudome Dance ceremony is around 700 years old and originated in the first year of the Genkō era (1321). The area was then going through a drought and so the local priest made a statue out of straw and prayed to a dragon god to bring rain. His wishes were granted, but in an ironic turn of events, the rain didn’t stop. The priest then made three farmers wear lion masks, dance, and blow conch shells to plead with the god to stop. It worked, and since then the dance has been performed every year in thanks.

Schedule 2024

The procession begins at the crossroads in front of Omori Daiichi Elementary School at 1 p.m. before making its way to Gonshoji Temple.

How to get there

Gonshoji Temple is an 8-minute walk from Ōmorimachi Station, accessible around 15 minutes from Shinagawa Station via the Keikyū Main Line.

Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.

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