Austrian Woman Training in Nihon Buyo DanceAttracted by Entertainment District in Kyoto
Fascinated with the beauty and charms of Kyoto's entertainment district, an Austrian woman has been learning "Nihon Buyo," or Japanese classical dance, staying in Kyoto City for several months at a time for the past two years. She practices the dance very hard, and said, "I want to know the culture of the entertainment district better through the dance."
This woman is Gioia Hader from Vienna.
Her interest in the entertainment district began in childhood when one of her friends made a presentation about it during a class at her international school. She first visited Kyoto in 2016, and experienced the entertainment in a Kyoto tea house. She was touched by the kindness and gentleness of the "Geiko," or geisha, she met at that time, and captivated by the culture of Kyoto's entertainment district.
Since then, Hader has stayed in Kyoto for one and half months to two months each visit after saving money earned through part-time jobs such as working at a Japanese restaurant or modeling in her home country. She now learns dance under Umeaya Umemoto, by taking Umeaya's lessons three times a week at Higashiyama Youth Action Center in Kyoto City. As a former Geiko working in Miyagawa-cho, which is one of the entertainment districts, Umeaya belongs to the Umemoto school and speaks English well.
In February, Hader danced "Ujicha," one of the signature Nihon Buyo performances, in public for the first time at an event at the center. This opportunity reconfirmed her passion, and she said, "My interest in Nihon Buyo is deepening, and I hope to improve my dancing even more."
Umeaya, Hader's master, expects her to be "an excellent talent who can promote Nihon Buyo worldwide someday." Hader has devoted herself to her dance training, and said, "I have found that the culture of the entertainment district in Kyoto is very complicated, but the very existence of the Geiko is like living art, and I totally respect them. In the future, I want to share what I have seen here in the entertainment district with my own eyes, including Nihon Buyo, with people around the world."(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)