Traditional Arts at Gion Corner 弥栄会館ギオンコーナー
Gion Corner. Kyo-mai is a slow dance performed by maiko
Credit: gion corner
Kyoto's Living Arts
Kyoto is the soul of Japan, and the heart of its culture has been nourished by a thousand years of unbroken tradition. Kyoto's living arts are protected by scarcity and elitism, they are not accessible to just anyone, only to those well informed.
Gion Corner span from a desire for openness: to offer visitors authentic artistic performances as simply as possible. The project was supported by the Oonoki Zaidan association to promote Gion as a center of traditional arts.
All the arts from the Heian period (794 - 1185) and Muromachi (1333 - 1573) forming the base of Kyoto's culture are represented: court music, gagaku, the comic theater kyogen, the Japanese zither, koto, the puppet shows , bunraku and flower arranging, ikebana, or tea ceremony , the chanoyu. The picture would not be complete without the appearance of the emblems of Gion, maiko performing their kyo-mai dance, finesse and fluidity.
The shows are performed by local artists and a permanent exhibition on the maiko and ornaments is also exposed. Performances are held at Yasaka Hall, near the shrine of the same name. The building is recognizable by its architecture that evokes the spectacle of old buildings.
Maiko performing the dances are not real maiko but remain true artists with undeniable talent. The kyogen performances are always extremely interesting and fun while the bunraku is astonishingly intense. The gagaku music is old music whose accents plunge us into the Heian period while the koto not only pulls its own strings, but also the feelings of the spectators. The ikebana and chanoyu in turn, lead to the serenity of Zen. Everyone can find what he is looking for in Kyoto. The shows in Gion Corner are worth the trip and offer the beauty that visitors so often look for when visiting Gion.