Ashikawa and Women’s chorus in Hosotan

From Corporeal Politics: Dancing East Asia by Katherine Mezur and Emily Wilcox, Editors

  • Asian Studies
  • Theater and Performance
  • Dance
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  • A group of women in white paint, black wigs, and rag-like clothing huddle nearly naked on stage with their mouths agape, hands hanging claw-like at their sides, and heads titling upward. Western opera music plays. One by one, the women squat down slowly and hunch over, looking toward the ground. They finally fall to the floor, leaning backward. A close-up features the front dancer, who has her mouth in an exaggerated frown. Their chests are exposed upward as they tilt their heads backward, their bodies quivering.