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「日本舞踊」の特色は、優美で静かな ″舞″、躍動する ″踊″、物真似の所作 ″振″という3つの要素によって構成されています。伴奏音楽は、日本古来の伝統楽器(三味線、笛、太鼓、鼓など)で構成され、日本語の歌詞が唄われるのが特徴。





What is Japanese Classical Dance (Nihon Buyo)?

Many countries in the world have important dance traditions to represent their culture. The word “Nihon Buyo” was created in the modern period to bring together many different Japanese dance traditions.


The main part of the repertory of Nihon buyo comes from dances that originate in the kabuki theater, a form of theater created in the Edo period (1603 – 1868). But other traditions have been added to kabuki dance, including kagura, the ritual dances of Shinto shrines, a variety of folk traditions, and dances from the noh and kyogen theaters. Over a long period of time, dances and techniques from these various traditions have been combined to create a comprehensive stage art form with a highly sophisticated body of technique.


Nihon buyo combines three different groups of dance techniques. There is mai, which is quiet and elegant and is related to the movements of the noh theater. There is odori, which features energetic, often high-stepping movements, and is related to the dances of the kabuki theater and other folk dance traditions. Interwoven with these two sets of pure dance movements, there is also furi, which are representational moments of mime. The music is also very important. The instrumental portion of the music features the flute and percussion music that has its origins in very ancient times and reached one highly developed form in the hayashi ensemble of the noh theater along with music of the three-stringed shamisen, which is said to have entered Japan from the Asian continent in the 16th century. The texts are in Japanese of a high literary quality, but the contents are highly varied and range from the most lofty classics to descriptions of the gritty details of daily life of various historical periods.


Learning Japanese classical dance is, of course, a good way to learn to wear kimono beautifully, but it is also a way to learn the beautiful movements and etiquette developed over centuries that can make movements beautiful whether in kimono or Western clothing.


Nihon buyo is a kind of jewel box packed with treasures that can be seen, heard, felt and enjoyed. We hope that by learning about their own culture, this will become an opportunity for Japanese to have pride in the culture of Japan and that this art form will also become an introduction to Japanese culture for people around the world.

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