“In 1871 Kyoto Governor Nobuatsu Nagatani and Vice Governor Masanao Makimura, in a direct response to the Meiji Restoration (1862-69) and the official shift of the Court of Emperor Meiji from Kyoto to Edo (now Tokyo), planned Japan’s first Exposition in Kyoto (no longer the “Imperial City”) to counter the perceived loss of status as well as to showcase the Art, Culture and Industry still alive and thriving in the City.
Subsequently, Jirouemon Sugiura, Gions’ Representative and owner of “Mantei” (still in existence today as “Ichiriki”, then and now a popular “Private” House for Kyoto’s Geiko and Maiko performances) received a request from the Prefectural Government to stage the 1st “Public” Dance performance by the nationally famous Geiko and Maiko.
In collaboration with Yachiyo Inouye the III (the Master of the Kyomai Dance School), Mr. Sugiura conceived a tightly choreographed and highly stylized group performance of the “Kamenoko Odori” dance from Ise Furuichi.
In March of 1872 the “Miyako Odori Junicho”, proposed by Vice Governor Makimura as an extension of the “Kamenoko Odori”, was performed for the first time with a full chorus and traditional Japanese Orchestra in a grand, classically beautiful house named “Matsunoya” located in Gion.
This Performance (affectionately referred to as the “Gion Kobu Dance”) was the prototype of the “Miyako Odori” that continues to the present day.
Immediately following the triumph of the “Matsunoya” performance all parties involved swore an oath declaring that the “Gion Kobu Dance” must remain the exclusive domain of Inoue the III’s Kyomai School and this solemn promise is honored to this day.
In April of 1873 the “Miyako Odori” moved permanently to the more spacious confines of our Kaburenjo Theater.
The originality, authenticity, beauty, quality and dignity of the “Miyako Odori” is now entrusted to the current Master of Kyomai Dance, Yachiyo Inouye the V and takes place each Spring in our Kaburenjo Theater.”