Kenshibudo- The Art of Japanese Sword Dancing.
We define Kenshibu as a dance to the recital of Shigin (traditional Japanese song) with a sword or a fan. But Kenshibudo is deeper than this definition. There are many levels of understanding to be achieved.
History of Kenshibudo
Dances with a sword existed in the Nara and Heian Periods (710-1191). But it was a different type from modern Kenbu.
The history of modern Kenbu is not so old. It is said the beginning of modern Kenbu dates back to “Gekiken Kogyo” by Kenkichi Sakakibara in the Meiji Restoration (1874). Our Kenshibudo comes from Kinbusa Ryu established in 1877 by Kanichiro Kinbusa and Hayabuchi Ryu. There are two Japanese words that mean “a dance”, the one is “odori” and the other is “mai”. “Odori” is for an ordinary dance. “Mai” has something more refined. Our students regard Kenshibu as a “Mai” and try to perform an artistic dance on the stage.
Kenbu: Sword Dance
A brave dance to a recital of Shigin with a sword, Kenbu requires an air of dignity and spirit along with a powerfulness and bigness as a Samurai. It is necessary to master many aspects of Iaido since we use a Japanese sword.
Dances were based on famous battles, legendary heroes, brave samurai and folklore. The dance forms were manly and strong. Yet graceful like traditional Japanese dance. Some of the movements are based on Kabuki forms. Kenbu became a popular dance form and is still practiced today in Japan.
At the Kenshin Dojo, Kenbu is also taught along with Iaido. These dances are taught by Sensei Corella to enhance a student’s knowledge of the Japanese sword arts.