Gallery Asset

Folk Dances of Japan from the Edo Period

A hand-painted picture scroll with illustrations of eight kinds of Japanese folk dances:
Sumiyoshi Odori, a dance handed down at the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Osaka;
Oise Odori, a dance from Ise Province, where the Ise Shrine is sacred to Amaterasu, the principal female deity of Shinto;
Kake Odori, in which a group of people dance toward the edge of a village or town to exorcise its evil sprits;
Kokiriko Odori, in which folk dancers clack bamboo sticks in each hand;
Komachi Odori, in which a group of girls in beautiful clothes dance to drum music at the Festival of the Weaver;
Karako Odori, a children’s dance in the Chinese fashion;
Hōsai Odori, a prayer-chanting dance originated by the crazy priest, Hōsai;
and Sashimono Odori, a dance with battle flags imitating those used on battlefields.
The illustrations are painted in a style predating ukiyo-e (mostly produced from the mid-17th century), and the scroll has brief comic descriptions in verse in the upper part. This work is drawn in the style of a popular painter, whose name is unknown, and is historical evidence of folk dances performed in the early 17th century.

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Type: illustration
Date: 1600-1650
Location: Japan
Continent: Asia
Keywords: folk, dance, comedy