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Miyako Odori 1914

Mo cover 1914.jpg
Nengō Taisho 3
Gregorian Year 1914
Dates Performed 1st - 30th Apr
Poem 新古今御代のことほぎ
Shin kokon miyo no kotohogi
Romaji Miyako Odori
Kanji 都をどり
Kana みやこをどり
English Dance of the Capital
aka: The Cherry Dance

Miyako-Odori or Cherry-Dance

The Miyako-Odori is one of the finest Entertainments given in Kyōto illustrating its' characteristic beauty of scenery. The Cherry-Dance was founded in 1872 and it continues up to this day, being open every year in the spring. It is now so famous even abroad that there is no foreigner who does not see the Dance when his feet touch the city during the cherry season.

The Dances to be performed every evening through the present season are divided into eight acts - I-VIII. The views of the stage being to be changed along with every act. Except the Nos. I and VI, all other acts take their subjects from old Japanese verses which appear in the poem book "Kokin-waka-shū", and the act VI Seiju-Banzai (Long Live the Emperor) is specially devised for the Great Juncture of the Emperors' Coronation which is take place in autumn of this year.

Acts - Dances for the Congratulations of the Present Dynasty

Act I. "Shato-no-Sugi"

or "Cedar-trees near a Shrine" (Imperial subject of Poem for this year).

Girls visit to a shrine.

The stage represents the inside of a shrine.

Dancers have fans in their hands adorned with cherry blossoms and willows.

Act II. "Takatsuno-Miya-no-Ume"

or "Plum-trees at Takatsuno-Miya".

The stage represents an ancient Imperial Palace Takatsuno-Miya at Naniwa where is celebrated for its plum-trees even in the present period.

Dancers have fans in their hands, painted plum-trees.

Act III. "Ide-no-Yamabuki"

or "Yellow-roses of Tama-gawa at Ide".

The stage shows the general view of Ide in teh spring season. Yellow-roses bloomed luxuriantly on the bank of river Tama-gawa.

Dancers have cloths in their hands, with the pattern of a horse-rein.

The singing with drum accompaniment is called "Tsuzumi-uta".

Act IV. "Kinchu-no-Hototogisu"

or "Hearing the Singing of Cuckoo in the Imperial Palace".

The stage represents a part of the ancient Imperial Palace.

The fan in the hands of the dancers is called "Akome-ōgi" which was formerly used by young Court-ladies.

Act V. "Arashiyama-no-Momiji"

or "Maple-trees at Arashi-yama".

The stage represents an autumn scene of Arashi-yama.

The water-fall is Tonase-no-taki and the river is Oi-gawa over which the bridge Togetsukyō crosses.

Act VI. "Seiju-Banzai"

or "Long Live the Emperor".

The stage is adorned with curtains on which have two characters "Banzai". This means to congratulate the great ceremony of the Imperial Coronation in this year. The curtains was made after the type which was customary use for coronation ceremonies since ancient period.

The floating clouds over the curtain signifies the gods' blessing.

Dancers have gold coloured Ogashira (head piece of a flag) in their hands.

Act VII "Fuyu-no-Shibagaki"

or "Fence in Winter Season"

the stage shows an entrance of the Imperial Palace and a part of its' garden in the cold season.

The flute in the hands of the dancers is called "Nara-buye".

These were used by musicians in the ceremony of the Imperial coronation.

Act VIII. "Goyen-no-Hana"

or "Flowers in the Imperial Garden".

The stage represents a part of the Imperial Garden in Kyōto in the spring season.

Dancers have cherry branches in their hands.


Maiko & Geiko Performers