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Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
Ogata Gekko

Ogata Gekko (1859-1920)
flowered hat dance
(hanagasa odori)
hanging scroll, ink and color on silk; signed Gekko with artist's seal Gekko

The dancer is performing the hanagasa odori ('flowered hat dance'), a dance which originated from a kabuki play, but was incorporated into a new repertoire of dances, the Shin Nihon Buyou ('new Japanese dance'), a Meiji Period (1868-1912) compilation of traditional dances which were derived from older kabuki and geiko sources. The hat dance is a short section from a longer dance in the kabuki play, Musume Dojoji, in which a temple dancer (representing a snake-demon) changes her costume nine times, which was the number of times snakes were thought to shed their skin. In this section, the dancer manipulates a pile of hats into a variety of shapes while dancing.
A similar composition of the same subject by Gekko is in the collection of The Brooklyn Museum of Art, accession no. 1990.22.1.
painting 122 by 44 cm
overall 209 by 58.5

Ogata Gekko

Ogata Gekko
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