Basic Terms of Shinto 神道基本用語集

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Text Dance by young maidens. The Gosechi no mai or five-movement dance is the oldest example. The legendary account describing its origin says that when Emperor Temmu was playing the koto in his palace at Yoshino, an angel descended from heaven and danced, raising her sleeves five times. At the Daijôe festival, five young daughters of noble families (at the Toyonoakari no Sechie festival, four) were chosen to dance. Shrine priestesses (miko) clad in red skirts perform a dance called Chihaya hibakama. Today the newly composed dance Urayasu no mai, commemorating the 2600th anniversary of the foundation of the imperial house, is widely performed by eight young women holding fans or bells.