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Kusemai (曲舞)

One of the medieval arts prevalent from the Nanboku-chō era to the Muromachi era, Kusemai is also referred to as mai-mai, “dance, dance,” or simply mai, “dance.” Kusemai is performed by either one or two people, and while the performance typically includes song and dance and coordinated movement of hand-held fans, ōgi, with the rhythm of the drum, it has changed greatly with time. Kan’ami, one of the most successful figures in Noh, is credited with having established the Kusemai style within Noh. Kōwakamai, a popular play performed by Nobunaga Oda, reached its height in the latter half of the Muromachi era and is thought of as representative of Kusemai of the period. The sophisticated chant Rangyoku of the Kongohand Kita schools is also referred to as Kusemai.

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