About Hanasaki Jiutamai School

Jiutamai is one of the very few Japanese arts that were created and cherished by women.

Hanasaki Tokijyo founded this school in 2003. This school inherits the techniques of Showa era masters Kanzaki Hide and Kanazaki Hidejyo, and prides itself on being "Tokyo's Jiutamai''

Jiutamai was born in Kyoto in the 19th century during the Edo period. Jiutamai is one of the very few Japanese arts that were created and nurtured by women. It was born from female mannerisms and skills and is performed in private, enclosed spaces, leading to a very subtle, delicate art that places special importance on pauses between movements.

The most important thing in jiutamai is to create a space in which the audience can feel (not just see) the delicate movements of the fingers, the use of the eyes, and the movement of the shoulders. The background is not adjusted to match each piece of music — it is created by using the existing elements of a traditional Japanese home, such as the traditional sliding door, sliding paper screens, and folding screens; traditional oil lanterns provide light and also separate the world of the dancer from the world of the audience. The imagination of the viewer is stimulated by this simplicity of both the background and the dancer's face, which is covered in white makeup leaving only the eyes as the expressive element. Jiutamai is not about faithfully recreating an established story, but about the dancer expressing her own thoughts on the story through her dance, and the viewer finding their own thoughts on the story in the dancer's performance. It is therefore an art form that is created through a conversation between the dancer and the viewer.