Noboribetsu junior high school students perform traditional "Kuma Mai" dance

On October 10, 18 third graders from Noboribetsu Junior High School performed the traditional “Kuma Mai” bear dance at the “Hell Valley Demon Fireworks” display that is being held at schools in Noboribetsu City. “Kuma Mai” is a story in which a hunter meets two bears in the mountain, and is guided to a hot spring guided by the bears. Noboribetsu Junior High School has taken up the tradition of the old Noboribetsu Onsen Junior High School that it merged with, and has students practice the Kuma Mai dance for all three years of junior high, with pairs of two students forming one bear in the dance. Every year the third-year students join Noboribetsu Jigoku Matsuri and perform the Kuma Mai dance as a culmination of all of their hard practice. This year the festival was canceled due to the corona virus pandemic, and they had been looking for a new opportunity to perform.