Ji-Uta Maiis literally translated as the “Earth Song Dance”. It is also referred to as Kamigata Mai or Zashiki Mai. It is a style of traditional Japanese dance that originated in the Kansai region (western Japan); namely Kyoto and Osaka.
Ji-Uta Mai borrowed and softened the Noh dance, and incorporated gestures from Kabuki dance. The movement is calm, and the expression is very spiritual.
It used to be performed indoors in a Japanese-style reception room with tatami mats. Merchants’ daughters learned it to master the manners, and geisha learned it to perform for their guests.
Today Ji-Uta Mai is also performed on the stage and enjoys as much popularity in Tokyo as it does in the Kansai region.
Ji-Uta music used to be sung only by blind musicians. They saw things not from their eyes but from their hearts. That is one of the reasons why Ji-Uta Mai is so calm and spiritual.
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