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Kimono Blog &  Events

Performance @ Anniversary This April 7th, 2019

This April 7th, 2019 we are celebrating 10 years of business and welcome everyone to join us as we take over the Schedel Japanese Gardens in Elmore Ohio. This free to the public anniversary event will include a display of Japanese kimono with a heavy focus on furisode, and even more excitingly special performances by Hanaka 花香. Hanaka 花香 will be putting on two separate performances at the anniversary event. Each performance is that of a traditional Japanese dance, both of which have otherwise not been performed in NW Ohio, or perhaps even all of Ohio previously.

More About The Perfomer Hanaka 花香:

Hanaka has been studying traditional Japanese dancing at the Kabuki Academy since 2009. Under the direct tutorage of Mary Mariko Ohno, Jennifer Dowling received her dancing stage name, Hanaka, and debuted onstage at the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom festival) at the Seattle Center in 2012. Since then, she has been part of the Kabuki Academy’s performing troupe, bringing Nihon Buyoo ニホン ブヨオ dancing to festivals, events and private parties all over the Northwest and to Santa Fe, NM. Hanaka has recently relocated and is now offering the Nihon Buyoo dancing experience to Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and nearby locales. She aspires to take her shiken (test) in hopes to be awarded natori ナトリ status in the near future.

Some Background Information On Kabuki Academy: Mary Mariko Ohno opened Kabuki Academy in the Pacific Northwest in 1983 to instruct interested and talented students in classical Japanese dancing, Naga-Uta shamisen music, singing techniques and the general concepts of kabuki theater arts. Kabuki Academy’s dance style is of the 花柳流, Hanyagi School, which is one of the most popular dancing schools in Japan. Mary Ohno earned her professional dancing licence and it’s title of Hanayagi Fumiryu in July 1966.

The Dances To Be Performed:

The dances she will be performing are very well known pieces.

She will start with a featured excerpt of "Fuji Musumè" ( 藤娘 ) or "Wisteria Maiden". Fuji Musume or "Wisteria Maiden", is a famous classical dance from the Kabuki theaters in Japan.

(Background of the story) The story begins in Otsu, an area outside of Kyoto and around Lake Biwa. Otsu is a city famous for its paintings. People would stroll its art-lined streets, viewing the beauty of the artisans works. One painting in particular, that of the wisteria maiden, caught the eye of a male passerby. As he gazed upon the painting, the Wisteria Maiden became infatuated.

So infatuated in fact, that she came to life, stepping out of the painting. The maiden is dressed in long flowing kimono, a black-lacquered bamboo hat and carrying a beautiful branch of fuji (wisteria). She writes beautiful, heartfelt letters to her love. The letters however go unanswered.

(explanation of the dance)The dance moves through distinct sections, with the dancer miming the joy of a girl in love, then the heartbreak of jealousy and betrayal. The dancer expresses the emotions found in unrequited love in the manner of women of the Edo era (1603-1868). Eventually, sadness and despair take over our maiden and, heartbroken, sh