The first dance lesson in a long while

I have started taking lessons of Japanese traditional dance in New York City. It was the first lesson in a long while.

When I visited the studio of my teacher, she showed me her stage costume, because she would perform the dance in a few days. The obi had a ready-made ribbon, which formed kichiya-musubi style.

Kichiya-musubi knot is originated by Kamimura Kichiya, a famous kabuki actor who specialized in female roles in the Empo period (1673-1681). He created it from karuta-musubi knot, which looked a sequence of three cards and was used both by men and women. He made broad obi, which we are using now, popular with ladies through kichiya-musubi style.

In this way, the roots of obi tying are interesting. Prof. Sasajima told us that its origin is in the style of yokozuna (The top rank of sumo wrestlers). Now we can see two types of rope tying in yokozuna: unryu type and shiranui type. Unryu-type yokozuna has a draw knot and shiranui-type yokozuna has a bow knot.

When I see stage costumes, I am always surprised how variable obi tying is. I should be aware of the origin and history of obi tying, including rope tying in yokozuna.

This time I have no photos of my dance training, so I will show you photos of sumo wresting in Ryogoku Kokugikan. I had gone there last year, a few days before I moved to New York City. I watched sumo wrestling at the box seat, wearing a kimono.

I confirmed Yokozuna Asashoryu with unryu style and Yokozuna Hakuho with shiranui style at the ring entering ceremony.

Surprisingly, Ozeki (the second rank sumo wrestlers) Chiyo-taikai won strong Yokozuna Asashoryu. After the fight, cushions, which audiences used, flew about! Because all the fights were serious, unexpected results always happen.

I learned the dance act: Itako-dejima. Really I met a wonderful teacher and enjoyed the dance performance. I am looking forward to taking the next lesson.


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February 1, 2010 at 8:07 AM  

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