One of the most popular dances in the Japanese Kabuki theater is Renjishi, a parable about two shishi, mythological lion-like animals. The first version, played at the end of the Edo Period, in 1861, was Katsusaburô Renjishi, inspired in turn by a Noh theater play called Shakkyo (Stone Bridge).
Renjishi tells the story of a father shishi, represented in art with white hair (photographed here on a hagoita) who, willing to test the power and the courage of his son, throws him of a cliff. The son survives the fall and manages to climb back, the play ending with a famous dance celebrating the sons’ achievement…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: