For believers in yakudoshi who live in the neighborhood of the Hachiman Shrine in Misaki, this dance and its hymn--sung and accompanied by the taiko drum-- serve to expunge a year's worth of bad luck for 42 year-old men.
While it is uncertain exactly how many years this O-Isei ritual has been performed, it is believed to have been in practice since the middle of the Edo period (1603-1868), making it at least 300 years old.
This year on Monday, January 10th, a crowd of young people filled the large multipurpose hall at Ikata's Lifelong Learning Center. They had at least one thing in common: between April 2009 and March 31st, 2010, they all had or will have their 20th birthday.
The second Monday of every January is designated as "Coming of Age Day," when new 20 year-olds are invited to assemble at the local municipal office, where, in Ikata's case, Mayor Yamashita and other officials gave speeches about the importance of becoming an adult.
(As opposed to 21 in America, in Japan, 20 is the legal age of "majority.")
Congratulations, new adults!
You can read more about Coming of Age Day on Wikipedia.