On January 14th and 15th, in the neighborhood of Misaki's Hachiman Shrine, a small group of men came together to perform a ritual dance called O-Isei Odori. Why? According to traditional Japanese belief, depending on whether you are male or female, certain years are unlucky for you. For women, these are 19 and 33 (with 33 being the most well-known), and for men, they are 25, 42, and 61 (with 42 being the most well-known). Different neighborhoods deal with the problem of unlucky years, called yakudoshi, in different ways.
For believers in yakudoshi who livein 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.