Our HDAHF Founder

Hanayagi Mitsuaki I and Hanayagi Mitsuaki II

Viola Ikie Hosokawa, eldest daughter of Hisamatsu Shusui (Zenjiro Hosokawa) and Hisamatsu Mitsue (Mitsue Hosokawa), was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Having begun her early classical dance (Nihon buyo) training in Hawaii, she traveled to Japan to study dance before the attack on Pearl Harbor. When war broke out, she was stranded there and wasn’t allowed home until the war ended. Her dance master in Japan was Hanayagi Sannosuke and she received her teaching degree (shihan) and the professional name (natori) of Hanayagi Mitsuaki. She also studied shamisen and singing under the Nagauta (“long song” – kabuki style music) master Kineya Tokichi and was conferred the professional name of Kineya Satoshi. Hanayagi Mitsuaki (Viola Hosokawa) also received the teaching name of Hosokawa Sosui from the Urasenke School of Tea Ceremony (chado) and the name of Hosokawa Shunyo from the Sogetsu School of Flower Arrangement (ikebana).

Following seven years of training in Japan, Hanayagi Mitsuaki returned to Hawaii and founded the Hanayagi Dancing Academy in 1947. Her dedication, devotion and tutelage of the Japanese performing and cultural arts have inspired many of Hawaii’s young people to become natori, teachers and masters of traditional Japanese arts. In 1990, she was the recipient of the “Tokubetsu-sho” award from the Headmaster of the Hanayagi School of Dance, Hanayagi Jusuke III. Endearingly known to her students as Oshisho-sama, Hanayagi Mitsuaki has left an indelible mark in the hearts and minds of all she touched with her spirit and passion committed to enriching, fostering and perpetuating the Japanese cultural arts. She died on October 15, 2004 at the age of 89.


Clara Chitose Hosokawa, youngest daughter of Zenjiro and Mitsue Hosokawa, was also born and raised in Honolulu. Together with her sister, she began her early Nihon buyo training in Hawaii. She also received training in Japan under Hanayagi Sannosuke and 2nd generation Headmaster (Iemoto) Hanayagi Jusuke II. Having graduated, she received her teaching degree and professional name of Hanayagi Chitoshi.

Second generation

Hanayagi Mitsuaki II

Born and raised in Hawaii, Karen Fujishima-Lee received extensive training in dance and shamisen under Hanayagi Mitsuaki I beginning in 1952. She received her professional dance name, Hanayagi Mitsuyuri, in 1970 and her professional shamisen name,  Kineya Satsugiku, in 1982. Upon the passing of Hanayagi Mitsuaki I in October of 2004, she assumed the role of the Academy’s principal in accordance with the wishes of the late founder. In 2006, Mitsuyuri Hanayagi was granted the name of Hanayagi Mitsuaki II by Iemoto Hanayagi Jusuke. She continued to expand her training and repertoire through teachers in Japan and was instrumental in deepening ties with the head schools and their masters in Japan. She died on February 7, 2008 at the age of 58.


Kineya Satsusugi (Mary Yukiko Sugino) was named the head of the Nagauta shamisen division of the Academy in 2004 by the late founder and was a driving force for over 50 years for the preservation and perpetuation of Nagauta in Hawaii. She gave herself to the school and the community through instruction and performances in countless functions sponsored by a vast array of organizations. Her continuing studies, even after reaching the age of 80, reflected both a solid commitment and a strong sense of discipline, qualities she inspired students with in the sharing of the authentic culture of Nagauta.

Present Day

Hanayagi Mitsutamae (Diane Nishida) assumed the role of the Academy’s principal in March 2008 after the sudden passing of Hanayagi Mitsuaki II in February of that year. On February  10, 2013, she passed on the position of principal to Hanayagi Mitsuai (Lorraine Kadota). Kineya Sakio (Teruo Bryson Goda) was named head of the Nagauta shamisen division in March of 2013.

Our Parent School ~ Hanayagi-Ryu School of Dance

Hanayagi Jusuke I

Born in Shiba, Tokyo in 1821, Nishikawa Yoshijiro began Kabuki dance and acting lessons at the age of 6 under the tutelage of Nishikawa Senzo IV. Yoshijiro was given the stage name Nishikawa Koikichi as a child and made his debut on the Kabuki stage. It is documented that Yoshijiro excelled in dance, with a special talent in choreography and went on to choreograph numerous dances for the famous Kabuki actor, Ichikawa Danjuro. In 1845, at the age of 24, Yoshijiro was given the professional “house” name of Hanayagi by Tamaya Kosaburo of Yoshiwara and assumed the name, Hanayagi Yoshijiro to start afresh as the founder of the Hanayagi-ryu school of dance. In 1850, he changed his name to Hanayagi Jusuke (花柳寿助) and further changed the character of the name Jusuke (花柳寿輔) in 1860. Without an heir, Jusuke I named his student, Hanayagi Tokutaro, as his ward to perpetuate Hanayagi-ryu. Jusuke eventually had a son at the age of 71 and passed away at the age of 82 years in Tokyo in 1903. Hanayagi-ryu school of dance presently has over 24,000 natoris throughout the world and is considered the largest and most popular school of classical dance in Japan.

Hanayagi Jusuke II

Hanayagi Yoshisaburo was born in 1892 as the only son of Hanayagi Jusuke I, who fathered Yoshisaburo at the age of 71. Yoshisaburo received the name of Jusuke II at the age of 11, upon the death of Jusuke I. Since Jusuke II was still a child, the school was managed by Hanayagi Tokutaro, Jusuke I’s ward, until Jusuke II was ready to take over the school. Jusuke II eventually took over the school at the age of 24. Jusuke II married Sadako, second daughter of the famous novelist Kinjosai Tenzan. Tenzan’s eldest son, who eventually became Hanayagi Juraku II, had two sons, both famous dancers of Hanayagi-ryu; Hanayagi Kinnosuke II and Hanayagi Gaku. Tenzan’s youngest daughter, Kiyoko became the wife of Kataoka Nizaemon XIII, father of Kataoka Nizaemon XV (Takao), Kataoka Hidetaro II and Kataoka Gado V. In 1924, Jusuke II formed the Hanayagi-ryu Buyo Kenkyu Kai, an organization to research and preserve classical artforms and to explore fresh and innovative techniques to give a new dimension to Japanese classical dance. Hanayagi Jusuke II was 42 when his daughter, Wakaba was born. Wakaba, who eventually received the name Hanayagi Jusuke III took over the school in 1962, upon the death of her father, Jusuke II.

Hanayagi Jusuke III

Born in January 1935 as the oldest daughter of Hanayagi Jusuke II, Hanayagi Jusuke III made her debut at the age of 5. Upon graduation from the Aoyama Gakuin Women’s College in 1955, Hanayagi Jusuke III spent the next 7 years vigorously training and performing until she received the title of Iemoto in January of 1962 and assumed the name Hanayagi Jusuke III in January 1963. In 1999, Jusuke III formed the Chuo-ku Koten Geino no Kai – the Classic Arts Association of the Chuo Ward in joint with the Nihonbashi Gekijo Theater. Chuo-ku Koten Geino no Kai is a nonprofit organization which holds classical dance and music performances for children living in the Chuo Ward in Tokyo. In 2002, the Hanayagi schools throughout Japan held numerous Tsuizen Buyo Kai to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Jusuke I and the 33rd anniversary of the death of Jusuke II. Jusuke III also held special performances in 11 cities, introducing new dances and performing notable dances choreographed by Jusuke I and Jusuke II. She was also instrumental in registering 27 dances choreographed by Jusuke II with the government’s Department of Culture as national assets. Later, Jusuke III concentrated her efforts in outreach to preschool and elementary school students with a campaign titled “Nihon no Kodomoni, Nihon no Kimono de, Nihon no Odori o”or literally, “For Japanese children, with Japanese kimono, Japanese dances,” meant to perpetuate the rich kimono and dance culture among the younger generation. Jusuke III and a group of natori visited elementary schools throughout the country to perform and make presentations in the art of Nagauta, dance and kimono.  Jusuke III passed away on May 23, 2007 at the age of 72 years.

Hanayagi Jusuke IV

Hanayagi Yoshijiro V (花柳芳次郎) was born on March 22, 1931 in Tokyo as the first son of Hanayagi Yoshijiro IV. He received his Masters from Waseda University and taught at Tokyo Geijutsu University for many years.

In 1958, he was award the Monbusho Cultural Arts Award, The International Emmy Award in 1985 for Performing arts, and the prestigious Regione Umbria Prize in Italy for choreography in 1998. In 1999, he received the Nihon Geijutsu-sho for his choreography of more than 300 dances. On November 3, 2006, he received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette or Kyokujitsu shojusho from the emperor and Japanese government.

In 2007, Yoshijiro V assumed the name of Hanayagi Jusuke IV upon the death of his cousin when he succeeded her as Iemoto of the school.

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