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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Nihon buyô, sometimes known as kabuki dance, has captured the imagination of Japanese and international audiences for centuries. The dance combines three traditional categories of Japanese dance movement, mai or lateral movement, odori or vertical, jumping movement, and furi, mimetic or imitational movement. Due to its popularity and its long association with kabuki theatre, Nihon buyô is understood by many to represent a singular, uniquely Japanese form of dance. Yet, the term itself is a turn-of-the-century neologism, invented in reaction to the Western category of dance. This retroactive nomination secured Nihon buyô’s status as a national dance, representative of Japanese aesthetics, culture, and behaviors.

Keywords: Nihon buyô, kabuki, noh, Japanese dance, Japan, odori, mai, modernity, Tsubouchi Shôyô, Hanayagi Chiyo

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