Two Girl Attendants to a Courtesan

dance kamuro



Ninin Kamuro

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With both its words and music written by Matsunosuke Nozawa, this was first staged in January 1948 at the Bunrakuza Theatre at Yotsubashi, Osaka.



This is a dance number featuring two young girl attendants to a courtesan playing battledore and shuttlecock in a street in a gay quarter.

Kamuro were girls as young as seven or eight who had just entered the licensed brothel districts as apprentices of a top-ranking courtesan. They are part of the courtesan's retinue when she goes on parade and they help her in her room. Soon they will become shinzo, apprentice courtesans, and begin to learn how to entertain patrons.


A courtesan with kamuro.

The dance shows two kamuro playing with a decorated hago-ita bat and a shuttlecock and with a bouncing ball. The dance is filled with the leisurely and festive atmosphere of the season along with the bittersweet feeling that all too soon, these innocent young girls must join in the business of the brothel district.

Although this number is often performed around the New Year's holiday, the scene background features flowering cherry trees, meant to give the audience hope for warmer weather.

Also notable about this number is that the middle puppeteer must move the feet in time with the music. Normally dolls representing girls or women have no feet since the kimono would hide the foot motion anyway. However since this is a dance number, it is important that the feet are showing and move as part of the dance.

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