Inoue school (of dance) (井上流)

Inoue school is a school of traditional Japanese dance. The Inoue and Shinozuka schools, that have enjoyed a long history since the Edo period, fall into the category of 'Kyomai' (Kyo dance).


Kyomai developed as the result of integration of kamigata mai dances, which have long been performed since the Edo period, with some elements of shimai (Noh dance in plain clothes) incorporated; currently, only the style of the Inoue school is regarded as the Kyomai style. As the use of the word 'mai' instead of 'odori' suggests in Japanese, the dance is characterized by extremely rigid movements and tension of the body, yet creating rich images with simple motions; inspired by Noh dances when she worked for the Konoe Family, Ichijo Family, and the Sento Imperial Palace, the founder of this dance, Yachiyo INOUE, created a dance that was presentable in front of distinguished persons, and its teaching has been passed down by word of mouth ever since.

Today, the Inoue school is known as the style for Ozashiki mai (dances performed in a tatami room), which is performed by geisha and apprentice geisha in the Gion Kobu district in Kyoto, and Miyako odori (dance performance held in April by geisha and maiko in Kyoto's Gion district) because the style was adopted for the choreography of Miyako odori in early Meiji period.

It is also known as the style in which men's participation is forbidden, keeping the promise made when the school was determined to be the exclusive school of Gion. For generations the heads of the school were close to shite-kata (main roles) families of Noh, such as Nomura-Kongo family and Kuroemon KATAYAMA (Kanze school), which influenced the Inoue school to a great extent.

Iemoto (head of the school)

The founder: Yachiyo INOUE I

Real name: Sato

The second head of the school: Yachiyo INOUE II

Real name: Aya

The third head of the school: Yachiyo INOUE III

Real name: Haruko KATAYAMA (1838-September 7, 1938)

The fourth head of the school: Yachiyo INOUE IV

Real name: Aiko KATAYAMA (May 14, 1905-March 19, 2004)

Name after retired: Aiko INOUE I

The fifth head of the school: Yachiyo INOUE V

Real name: Michiko KANZE (1956-)

Previous name: Michiko INOUE

Mai-ogi (a fan used for Japanese dance)

The fan has a family crest of Ibishi pattern drawn in white color on a gold background, decorated with horizontal stripes called "konoe-biki"on the lower part of the fan.

As you acquire proficiency, the number of stripes on your fan increases. Fans for adults are about 28.8 cm, made with uncoated bamboo ribs.

For geisha

Family crest on a gold background with green stripes, or on a gold background with purple stripes.

For maiko (apprentice geisha)

Family crest on a gold background with red stripes.

For practice

Family crest on a white background with gold dust

For children

Pink with gold dust
25.8 cm

Fan for natori (person with a diploma in Japanese dance)

White camellia drawn on a red background with gold dust, made with black coated ribs.

[Original Japanese]