Kamogawa odoriKamogawa odori


Premium Salon

Onoe Kikunojo Diary ~Listen to good things~


"Higashi Odori" in Shinbashi and "Kamogawa Odori" in Pontocho. What is the difference between the two that Kikunosuke Onoe talks about?

©Pontocho Kabukai

Hello. This is Kikunosuke Onoe. For a short time after the new year, I was able to refresh my mind and body, which had been tired from the busy days since the end of last year, but that was short-lived, as rehearsals for Pontocho's "Kamogawa Odori" began in the latter half of March, and in May In preparation for the opening on the 1st, I spent about 4 days in Kyoto in April.


As in previous years, ``Kamogawa Odori'' is composed of two parts, one part a dance drama and the second part a pure dance, but this year, in conjunction with NHK's taiga drama ``Hikaru Kimi e'', ``The Tale of Genji'' is the theme. Masu.



“Higashi Odori” and “Kamogawa Odori.” Two dance events that have continued for over 100 years in Tokyo and Kyoto



This year's Shinbashi "Azuma Odori" will be held for four days from May 5th to 24th, and Pontocho's "Kamogawa Odori" will be held for the first time on May 27st, with the final season on May 4th. , the first day of the Higashi Odori and the Senshuuraku of the Kamogawa Odori coincided on the same day.



“Higashiodori” will be held for the 99th time this year, and next year will be the commemorative 100th time. ``Kamogawa Odori'', which began in 1872 (Meiji 185), will be held for the 2th time this year (at one time, it was held twice a year in spring and fall), making it the largest number of performances of any of Kyoto's five flower districts. Masu.

Kamogawa Odori website Kamogawa Odori website

From the official website of Pontocho Kamogawa Odori. It's full of gorgeous atmosphere. ©Pontocho Kabukai

East odyssey East odyssey

This is the visual of this year's 99th East Odori. The focus is on the stylish expressions of the geishas, ​​giving me a sense of their sex appeal. ©Tokyo Shinbashi Association

Shinbashi, Tokyo and Pontocho, Kyoto. Even though it is the same “Onoue”, there are subtle differences.



"Higashi Odori" in Shinbashi and "Kamogawa Odori" in Pontocho. Even though the Onoue dance is the same, there are some subtle differences between Shinbashi and Pontocho. (*Shinbashi has 3 schools: Hanayagi-ryu, Nishikawa-ryu, and Onoue; Pontocho has 1 school: Onoue)



The content of the lessons is the same, and there is no difference in the choreography or movements, but the atmosphere, or rather the atmosphere, is definitely different between the East and the West. Speaking of different, there are also different names in the East and West. Shinbashi is called ``Geisha/Hangyoku,'' and Pontocho is called ``Geiko/Maiko.'' Each person takes pride in being a ``geisha'' and ``geisha,'' so I myself am careful not to accidentally say ``geisha'' in Shinbashi or ``geisha'' in Pontocho.


The tatami room where the dance is performed is often a Japanese restaurant in Shinbashi, or a teahouse in Pontocho. The size of the tatami rooms varies, and this ``dancing space'' may be what creates the subtle differences.


So what's the difference? It's very difficult to put it into words, but if I had to say so, I would say it's a difference in temperament or water. Shinbashi has an Edomae atmosphere, while Pontocho has a soft atmosphere unique to Kamigata. However, individual charms vary... To begin with, everything is different between the East and the West, including the air in the city, the water, the food, and even the taste and wearing of kimono, so I think it's only natural that there should be differences in dance as well. Of course, Shinbashi and Pontocho share the same name, Onoue, so they have many common languages, and both share the same spirit of devoting themselves to the arts.

East odyssey East odyssey

The dance I choreographed is ``Shikunshi''. There is a gaiety that looks like flowers blooming on the stage, and the sharp chic of the Shinbashi geisha.

Maiko of Kamogawa Odori Maiko of Kamogawa Odori

When the maikos of Pontocho stand on stage, the stage seems to brighten up. Beauty unique to Kyoto.

Shinbashi geisha and Pontocho geisha perform together on the same stage


In Kyoto, the ``Gokamachi Joint Performance'' has been held since 1994, in which geisha and maiko from the five geisha districts perform together on one stage. Previously, we rarely stood on the same stage as other cities. What's more, it's rare for the red-light districts of Tokyo and Kyoto to compete together.


During this time, there was a special event where geisha from Shinbashi and geisha from Pontocho competed in a single performance. This is a performance called "Classical Performing Arts to the Future" held in 2019. This performance, planned and produced by NHK, focuses on the unique world of classical performing arts, where family crafts are passed down from generation to generation, and Onoue was the first to be featured.


Onoue was founded in 1948 by the sixth generation Kikugoro Onoue, and my grandfather, father, and successive generations of Kikunojo have inherited the headship. Although the Japanese dance style has been around for about 23 years, I have heard that the Onoe family's art began in the Edo period, especially during the time of the third generation Kikugoro Onoue, who had plans to start a new style, so it is said that the art of the Onoe family has been passed down for over 70 years. we inherit it.

2019 “Classical performing arts to the future” 2019 “Classical performing arts to the future”

The 2019 "Classical Performing Arts to the Future" is a valuable stage performance in which Shinbashi's geishas, ​​Pontocho's geishas, ​​and his father, Bokuyuki, co-star.

Thankfully, in recent years, a new generation has grown up, starting with the current Soke Kikugoro Onoe, Kikunosuke Onoue, Ushinosuke Onoue (though he was still using his own name at the time), and Masahide Onoue. On my side, there are three generations: my father, Sumiyuki Onoe, myself, and his daughter, Ichiko Hatori. Furthermore, it was a performance featuring the entire Onoue family, including Ukon Onoue, his sister Murasaki Onoue, and a senior disciple of the first Kikunojo.


The Nagauta song ``Ame no Shiki'' was performed at the performance, and geishas from Shinbashio-ryu, geishas from Pontocho, and Bokuyuki performed together. It is rare for geisha and geisha from the East and West to perform together, but it was even more rare for my father to appear on stage with me. At first, the Shinbashi group and the Pontocho group rehearse separately, and as the performance draws near, they finally rehearse together.


There was a different sense of tension than usual. After all, we are representing our respective cities, so we have something to carry on our shoulders, and it was a very fulfilling time, with a sense of harmony between cooperation and competition. It was a group dance of about 10 people, but I think it was great that each dancer had a different atmosphere even though they were all in sync with each other.

There are dancers who seem unachievable even in the eyes of professional dancers.



The main battlefield for geishas and geishas is not the theater stage, but the daily tatami room. Sometimes we dance after drinking, and sometimes we dance just for fun. Perhaps because of this, the girls modestly say, ``We are not dance professionals,'' but that is not the case. There are some amazing dancers out there who even surpass us professionals.


After all, they are real. It's not just the performance, but the way a geisha behaves and interacts with customers that make her a true geisha. For me, who plays the role of a geisha and performs geisha-like choreography, there is a lot to absorb from watching the real performance. It's a strange thing, and no matter how good you are at dancing, it's very difficult to dance like a geisha or geisha.


There are even dancers and actors who visit the tatami rooms to learn about their atmosphere and style. There are also older sisters who teach young dancers and actors various things, and sometimes even scold them. Older women have been on this path since before we were born, and because they have seen the great actors and masters that we admire, they have a formidable ``eye.''

This year's "Classical Performing Arts to the Future" will be a collaboration between Kanda Shogoi and Kanda Hakuzan.
I will appear there with Somegoro Ichikawa and others.



``Classical Performing Arts into the Future'', which I mentioned earlier, will be held at Meiji-za this year as well. Under the theme of ``Supreme Arts and Successors,'' we focus on storytelling that was loved by the common people of the Edo period, as well as the Kabuki dance ``Urashima'' and the dance ``The Tale of the Heike: Yoichi no Dan'' created by his father, Bokuyuki. will be performed. The performers will be the 6th generation master, Hakuzan Kanda, who is said to be ``the most difficult to get a ticket for right now,'' and his master, the 3rd generation master of Matsukoi Kanda, who is a Living National Treasure. Minosuke Bando will be working on ``Urashima,'' and myself, Somegoro Ichikawa, and Murasaki Fujima will be working on ``The Tale of the Heike: Yoichi no Dan.'' I'm already looking forward to seeing what the stage will be like.

Photo cooperation: Tokyo Shinbashi Union 98th Higashiodori, Pontocho Kabukai

Kikunojo Onoe


Born in March 1976 as the eldest son of Kikunojo Onoe (currently Bokuyuki), the third generation head of Nihon Buyo Onoe and the second generation. He studied under his father from the age of 3, and made his stage debut in ``Pine Green'' at the National Theater in 1981 (at the age of 1990). In 14 (at the age of 2011) he was allowed the name Seikaede Onoe. In August 8 (age 34), he inherited the title of Onoue's fourth iemoto, and at the same time assumed the name Onoue Kikunojo, the third. In addition to presiding over the Onoe-kai and Kikuju-kai dance clubs, he also presides over the "Itsei-kai" (a two-person gathering with Kyogen master Ippei Shigeyama) and his own recitals, creating both classical and new works. He continues to put a lot of effort into releasing various works. He is also actively collaborating with artists of various genres, including Eitetsu Hayashi, one of Japan's leading Japanese drum players.


For inquiries to “Kikunojo FAN CLUB”, please contact:Onoue official website.


Premium Salon

Onoe Kikunojo Diary ~Listen to good things~

Premium Salon

scroll top