Kenshibu (sword and poetry dancing) (剣詩舞)

Kenbu or a sword dance refers in a broad sense to dancing holding a sword. Originally it refers to dancing especially to shigin (a form of Japanese poetry, which is usually chanted) with a sword drawn. It is also called Kenshibu (sword and poetry dancing). The origin is from samurai. In the early Meiji period, Raifu HIBINO (originator of the Shinto school) organized the conventional dancing styles into the current ones by introducing some styles of swordplay.

Singing and dancing are performed basically by different persons. The number of performers varies; sometimes one singer and one dancer, but often one singer and two or more dancers. There are no specific costumes for singers, but dancers wear a hakama (divided skirt for men), shiro-tasuki (white sash for holding up tucked sleeves), and shiro-hachimaki (white headband) to express the emotion of the poem. In some dances a fan is used along with a sword.

Dancing to shigin with a fan only is called Senbu (literally, "fan dance") or Shimai (literally, "poetry dance"). Kenbu and Senbu can together be called Kensenbu (sword and fan dancing).

[Original Japanese]