Bandō Kotoji Dancing Ryūsei (流星)

The dance piece Ryūsei depicts the character of Shooting Star (ryūsei) on the evening of Tanabata, the star festival on the 7th of the 7th month. Above the clouds Shooting Star appears and reports to two other stars, Altair and Vega, what he has seen below: a comical quarrel in a supernatural tenement between a thunder god (kaminari) couple, with the intervention of their child and an old neighbor woman. It is a fantastical and humorous dance story derived from the popular storytelling of the nineteenth century.

Ryūsei was first performed in 1859 at the Ichimura-za kabuki theater in Edo. The lyrics were written by the famous kabuki dramatist Kawatake Mokuami.


Bandō Kotoji performs Ryūsei 流星
October 2010, Cornell University
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