The passing of a legend – Hanayagi Jusuke III

The Hanayagi Dancing Academy- Hawaii Foundation would like to extend our deepest condolences on the passing of our Headmaster (Iemoto), Hanayagi Jusuke III on May 23, 2007 at 11:33 am. She was 72 years old.

Thousands of students and friends attended Iemoto-san’s funeral on June 28, at the Tsukiji Hongwanji. At the funeral, Chief Mourner, Hanayagi Yoshijiro V announced that he will be assuming the name of Hanayagi Jusuke IV and succeeding his cousin as Iemoto of the Hanayagi Ryu school of dance. A day before the funeral, on June 27, the Shumei Hiro recital was held for Hanayagi Yoshijiro V, Hanayagi Sosuke, and Hanayagi Asuka. Hanayagi Yoshijiro V assumed the name Hanayagi Kanou, Hanayagi Sosuke succeeded him as Yoshijiro VI and Hanayagi Asuka became Hanayagi Tsuru.

The kai was a spectacular event. The curtains opened to reveal 64 women in matching montsuki and obi from the Nagauta association, singing and playing “Ayatsuri Sambaso.” The unusual dance, mimicking Bunraku puppets, featured Jusuke IV as Okina , Asuka as Chitose, Yoshijiro VI as Sambaso and Miyake Ukon as koken.

The second number was “Hana no Dan” featuring Fujima Murasaki as Sachiko, Hanayagi Sumi as Yukiko and Hanayagi Tsuru as Taeko.

The finale was a fantastic production entitled “Ibaragi.” Ichikawa Danjuro danced the part of Watanabe no Tsuna and Jusuke VI, the role of the ogre, Ibaragi doji, who later appears as the hag, Mashiba.

The 76 year-old Hanayagi Yoshijiro V’s intentions were to retire and retreat from the limelight after naming his successor, Yoshijiro VI.

In a sad but phenomenal turn of events, Yoshijiro V will now become Iemoto, a life far from the quiet retirement he had dreamed of. He laments that he was Hanayagi Kanou for one day, but has awakened a new commitment and mission as Iemoto to preserve and perpetuate the ideals of classical Japanese dance and Japanese culture for present and future generations.