||The theme of "Renjishi" stays close to that of the Nô play "Shakkyô", and it is classified as a matsubame dance. That is, a dance that's performed before the symbolic backdrop of a large pine tree flanked by bamboo which is copied from the Nô stage. This scenery has no connection with the dance's content. The first section features a pair of Kyôgen actors who come to dance the story of the shishi parent and cub. The actors each carry a wooden mask of a shishi head, one with white hair representing the parent shishi and the other with red hair to represent its child. A shishi is a mythological lion-like animal said to be the king of beasts and always associated with the Buddhist deity Monju. For this reason, any portrayal of the shishi should not only bring out its wild, beastial nature, but also a sense of dignity and authority that goes with this divine status. The shishi is in many ways a spiritual creature.