DANCER


Furyu is a Japanese folk dance meaning "drifting on the wind" dances. They were extremely popular in their respected time period. Furyu dance is performed to the music called Hayashi, a unique combination of flutes, drums, and bells. Furyu dance has a wide variety of dance forms as well. The Chinese characters for Furyu are "Kaze" meaning wind and "Nagare" referring to stream. There are three main forms of this type of dance that are listed below:

ZENIDAIKO-BURYU - Performed in northwestern Saga where each village has its own unique form of Furyu. This Furyu dance is a form of prayer for rain and a rich harvest. It's special in that young women wearing colorful kimono dance swiftly while beating small tumbler-like drums called Zeni-Daiko. The movements of the dancers correspond to music called Hayashi and songs.

MEN-BURYU - Performed with masks in the Kashima area, southwestern Saga and the northern part of Nagasaki. This form of Furyu is dedicated to the war dead, from Japan's civil war era in particular. It is written that masked-warriors of Nabishma Noshige, a subordinate of Ryozozi, fought and succeeded in repelling Ootomo's invasion from Bungo (present day Ooita). To celebrate their triumph, a dance was performed.

TENTSUKUMAI-FURYU - Performed around the Saga plain and northern mountainous areas including the Seifuri and Tenzan mountains. His style of Furyu dance was prevalent in the surrounding area. "Tentsukumai" literally means "the dance trusting the sky." The crescent-shaped figurethat the Tentsumai is wearing on his head is called Tentsuki. A sun, moon, or star is painted in the middle of the Tentsuki. In the feudal era, if a Tentsukumai failed in his performance, he was supposed to commit seppuku on a straw mat tightened around his back.

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