Mai Dance ()

Mai dances are mainly dances which include circling movements in time with melodies. Prior to the Meiji Restoration, dances were clearly distinguished however after the term Buyo (Japanese dance) was created as a Japanese translation of the English 'dance,' the distinctions became vague.

Mai is said to be classical kagura (shinto music and dance) with the addition of arts introduced from China and requires specialist techniques as compared with the dances (odori) originating from the common people. Therefore, mai dances have been handed down in a patriarchal way; however after the Meiji Restoration many were lost when their lines of succession were broken and now the remnants of this traditional art only remain as an element of Noh. However, as well as the following mai dances which have been designated important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties, there are many mai dance traditions which have been handed down as folk performing arts (local performing arts), so we can see the remnants of mai dance traditions.

Dances with the name mai
These are dances with the name of mai which are designated important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties and have a history from prior to the Muromachi period.

Hotokemai (Buddha Dance) of Itosaki
Kanmai dance at Yukaba, Iwakuni
Chigomai dance of Ecchu

Shinjimai of Sumiyoshi-jinja Shrine in Kamikamogawa.
Okinamai of Kurumaotoshi-jinja Shrine
Ondamai of Suginohara

Okinamai of Narazuhiko-jinja Shrine
Ondamai of Hanazono
Hotokemai (Buddha Dance) of Matsun-ji Temple

Dengaku and Noh dance of Mizuumi

Bugaku (Kagaku with mai dance)
Bugaku designated as important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties and with a history from the Heian period.

Bugaku of Itoigawa and Nou

Shoryoe bugaku

Bugaku of Totomimori-machi

Hayashike (Hayashi family) bugaku

[Original Japanese]