Skip to main content

The Father and Son Shishi Lions (Renjishi)

Written by: Kawatake Mokuami

Directed by: Yamada Yoji

Length: 55 minute


The Kabuki Lion Dance usually features a father/son duo as two powerful lions who explore the challenging father/son relationship. The Triple Lion Dance is extraordinary not only because it stars the legendary Kanzaburo, but also his talented sons Kankuro and Shichinosuke who shine as the younger lions, showcasing three of Japan’s most revered mythical beasts. Look for unusual hand-held shishi masks which evolve into majestic full mane costumes. The father lion is one of the most sought-after roles for Kabuki dancers.