Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
Kabuki repertoire
"Kyoganoko musume dojoji"
Common name: "Musume dojoji"
Introduction of work
"Kyoganoko musume dojoji" is a great work of Onnagata Buyo in which the Onnagata dances for nearly an hour. The title of this work is abbreviated as "Musume dojoji" or simply "Dojoji." The premise of this dance drama is that Hanako, a shirabyoshi (temple dancer), visits the Dojoji temple on the day of the service for dedication of its new temple bell. She performs one dance after another, then jumps into the bell and appears as a demon snake. The dance content is divided into several parts; the main point of the dance is to depict various females entangled with love.
In Kabuki, there are various works called Dojojimono, derived from the Noh play "Dojoji." These all include a framework in which a female dancer who visits a temple at the service for dedication of a temple bell, performs dances, then jumps into the bell while expressing fury. Dojojimono began to be performed in the Genroku period [1688 - 1704]. The most comprehensive compilation of these various works is "Kyoganoko musume dojoji," first performed by Nakamura Tomijuro 1st in 1753.
Following works are presently performed as major Dojojimono.
• "Ninin dojoji"
  » Dojojimono in which 2 Onnagata actors dance competitively
• "Meoto dojoji"
  » Dojojimono danced by 2 actors, an Onnagata and a Tachiyaku
• "Yakko dojoji"
  » Dojojimono danced by a Tachiyaku playing the part of a kyogenshi (Noh farce performer)
Distinctive expressions
Kudoki (lamentation)
Kudoki, expressing the feelings of the characters depicted, are particularly important parts in Ongyoku (musical performances) such as Gidayu and Nagauta . In Buyo (classical Japanese dance), slow and graceful dance movements are choreographed for the important Kudoki sections.
The Kudoki of this work starts with the Nagauta lyrics, "Koi no tenarai tsui minaraite" (I began learning about love...). The picture image here shows the following scene delicately depicting the woman's feelings before she meets her lover, by choreography using a towel to represent a mirror as the woman moistens rouge and applies it to her lips, accompanying the words, "Dare ni mishotote beni kane tsukyozo" (For whose sake did I redden my lips..."

Kudoki scene. Hanako danced by Nakamura Shikan 7th, "Kyoganoko musume dojoji" March 1990
Hanako changes costumes several times, including instantaneous costume changes on stage using the method called Hikinuki. Two layers of costumes are basted together by strings called shitsuke-ito and worn by the actor. Just before the time for Hikinuki, the Koken [onstage assistant] pulls out all the shitsuke ito which hold the 2 costumes together, and the Koken removes the top layer of costume, matching the timing of the actor's movements. The dramatic kaleidoscopic changes of costume including Hikinuki are done to give the audience a fresh new viewpoint.

Moment of Hikinuki. Hanako, danced by Nakamura Shikan 7th, "Kyoganoko musume dojoji" March 1990