Biography / Profile
Born in Tokyo in 1960, Minosuke is the son of the tenth Headmaster of the Nishikawa School, NISHIKAWA Senzo, a Living National Treasure*. After graduated from Waseda University in 1984, Minosuke studied at London University’s SOAS, then at the Laban Centre, specializing in contemporary dance, classical ballet, and dance theory. He is next in line to head the NISHIKAWA School which, established in 18th century, is one of Japan’s most distinguished traditional dance schools. Minosuke has been active on the dance stage, as well as a chief researcher at Nihon University College of Art since 1993. He has also trained actors in dance for many costume dramas on TV. Thanks to his overseas experience, he is well placed to transmit the value and joy of the traditional dance to a larger audience.
→NISHIKAWA School official site
Born in 1967 to HANAYAGI Kinnosuke II, he was trained from childhood by his grandfater, HANAYAGI Juraku II, a Living National Treasure. Among the HANAYAGI lineage, his family has the right to use the esteemed name Juraku, and he has striven to continue in the spirit of his predecessor. After graduating from Gakushuin University in Tokyo, he firstly received the name HANAYAGI Kinnosuke III in 1990 and then the name HANAYAGI Juraku III in 2009. The major awards for him have included “Best Young Potential in the Performing Arts” presented by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. In addition to his success as a dancer, Juraku has choreographed a variety of plays and actors, including “Johnny’s” stars in seeking to increase the prominence of the family. He has also been highly acclaimed as an actor himself.
→HANAYAGI Juraku official site
Born in 1964 in Tokyo, Motoi first trained with his mother, HANAYAGI Shu, before starting his formal dance education. Since 6 years old, he had trained with HANAYAGI Juraku II, the Living National Treasure*. Motoi has won numerous awards including “New Talent Award of the Minister of Education” and most notably, “Best Award of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology” (2009); It is extremely rare that a dancer of his age to be given the latter award, and it shows that Motoi is a gifted artist. A strong technical dancer, Motoi has performed throughout Japan and toured many overseas countries including the Americas, France, and Russia. He led an educational TV program of “Japanese Dance Lesson” on NHK in 2005, and is a chief researcher at Nihon University College of Art and a board member of HANAYAGI School.
→HANAYAGI Motoi official site
Born in 1962 in Tokyo to FUJIMA Rankei, Rankoh started his training under his grandmother, FUJIMA Fujiko, a Living National Treasure*. In 1978, he was allowed to identify himself as “FUJIMA Rankoh”, as illustrious lineage in the FUJIMA School. He has lived up to the responsibilities of this honor in respecting the great predecessors. Since 1998, he has received a number of awards, including “Best Young Potential in the Performing Arts” by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Besides touring the United States, Europe, Russia, Asia, and the Middle East, Rankoh has taken part in many workshops and dance performances with a range that extends from the purely traditional to the experimental. This versatility enables him to collaborate with different kinds of artists, as in his recent adaptation of Goethe’s Faust into a dance piece.
→FUJIMA Rankoh official site
Born in 1964 in Osaka, Waka is the son of the later fifth Headmaster, YAMAMURA Ito, and the renowned stage director of the Takarazuka Revue, UEDA Shinji. He graduated from Osaka University of Arts. Since his succession to sixth Headmaster of a 200 year-old school in 1992, Waka has sought to balance the revival of old Kabuki masterworks from the past all the while staying true to the delicate and graceful Zashiki-Mai heritage of his tradition. His class, talent and these efforts have been steadily appraised and resulting in numerous honors, including “Best Young Potential in the Performing Arts” and “Outstanding Performance Award of the National Arts Festival”, both given by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. He is also well-known as a choreographer for Kabuki, Bunraku, and the Takarazuka Revue.
→YAMAMURA School official site
(*) Living National Treasure
Also known as “Important Intangible Cultural Heritage”. This is an honor awarded by the Agency for Cultural Affairs to artists and artisans whose achievements have been certified as outstanding and whose contribution to the society as a whole is considered as extremely valuable.