Showaraku (承和楽)

Showaraku or Jowaraku is a gagaku (ancient Japanese court music and dance) music piece. Its alternate name is Tomeiraku.

It is said that the music was composed by OTO no Kiyokami and the dance was choreographed by MISHIMA no Takekura by the imperial order of Emperor Ninmyo during the era of Jowa (Japan) (834 to 848). It is also said that it was created upon Emperor Ninmyo's ascension to the throne. It was performed at Ogiku no en (feast of Yellow Chrysanthemum) the year after it was composed. Therefore, it is said that this piece was named 'Showaraku' from the name of the era at the time. Alternatively, there is a theory that considers that it was composed by Gakusho Azukari (the Lower chamber of music) Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) ONAKATOMI no Narifumi in 834. It is considered to have been performed as a dance of celebration at Imperial Court banquets.

It is a four-person dance that belongs to Saho style (left side, a style of Japanese court music) (Togaku, music from Tang [China]). It is a hiramai dance (a dance of non-military officers) with Ichikotsucho (a Japanese chromatic scale) tone. The dancers perform wearing katakata-nugi kasane shozoku costumes (layered costumes that show a long inner robe of the right shoulder) and torikabuto (traditional gagaku hats). The tsugaimai dance (dance that is simultaneously performed) is Ninnaraku.

[Original Japanese]