Refers to Japanese ceremonial dances combined with music used in Shinto, Buddhist, and Imperial court rituals and festivals. The dance and music were brought to Japan at an early date from China, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia. These dance and music forms were standardized and systematized by Japanese emperors of the 9th century. The dances are composed of stylized movements cued by the beat of a drum and the overall choreography is based on simple geometric patterns.

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Go Historic ID
35058

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Refers to the genre of Japanese ceremonial dances combined with music used in Shinto, Buddhist, and Imperial court rituals and festivals. The dance and music were brought to Japan at an early date from China, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia. These dance and music forms were standardized and systematized by Japanese emperors of the 9th century. The dances are composed of stylized movements cued by the beat of a drum and the overall choreography is based on simple geometric patterns. The masks worn by the dancers are an important element of bugaku. There are two basic dance forms each accompanied by specific music: saho no mai ("dances of the left"), accompanied by togaku (derived mainly from Chinese music); and uho samai no mai ("dances of the right"), accompanied by komagaku (music imported from Korea). The richly embroidered costumes of the saho no mai dancers are typically red while the costumes of uho samai no mai dancers are usually green or blue. A bugaku program typically starts with a selection performed by the lead dancers of both forms, followed by alternating dances from both repertoires. When the music is performed alone it is called 'gagaku.'

Page Info

Title
bugaku
Date Published
December 12, 2012
Last Updated
April 22, 2021