Gioo the Dancer


Day of Gioo the Dancer (Gioo Ki)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Mid-Spring
***** Category: Observance


Memorial Day for Gio, the mistress of Kiyomori

Gioo Ki 妓王忌 (ぎおうき)
Gioo Ki 祗王忌(ぎおうき)


Giō and Hotoke

The story of Giō and Hotoke is long and involved, but basically tells of the most famous shirabyoshi Giō, who had won the heart of Taira no Kiyomori, being ousted by a younger and more talented shirabyoshi named Hotoke. Kiyomori cruelly sent Giō away, which grieved her greatly, and Hotoke was constantly ridden with guilt.

A year later, Giō was asked to perform a dance for Hotoke at Kiyomori's command, who actually intended on humiliating her. In her grief and humiliation, Giō, her sister and their mother became nuns seeking for a happier life. A few years later, the guilt was too great for Hotoke and she became a nun. She asked for forgiveness from Giō, who willingly forgave her and the four women lived out the rest of their days in prayer.

Shirabyoshi (白拍子)
were female dancers that performed traditional Japanese dances (also called "shirabyoshi") dressed as men. The profession of shirabyoshi developed in the 12th century. They would perform for nobles and high-ranking samurai, and at celebrations.

They are sometimes referred to as courtesans in the West, but the term refers to a high-class prostitute, so this is rather incorrect. By nature they were performers, though some shirabyoshi would give birth to nobles' children, but this was not their purpose.

Shizuka, a famous shirabyooshi, commonly referred to as Shizuka-gozen, was the concubine and lover of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, the tragic hero of many folk legends.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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Dolls: Gio and her younger sister Gijo

............................. The song of Dancer Hotoke

"A delicate young pine at her first meeting
With him who is her Lord, through joys and tears
Sings of her hope that he may hear the beating
Wings of the passage of a thousand years;
While storks upon the tortoise island stand
And crowd the lily pond to seek his hand."

Read all the details here

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

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Taira Kiyomori and the Genpei War


Gio ki no mikkii minii no pea kappu

Gio Day -
pair cups of
Mickey and Minnie

© Gendai Haiku Kukai

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Japanese are very fond of pair cups. Usually, they are called "Couple's cups" meoto yunomi 夫婦湯のみ for husband and wife. Now boyfriends and girlfriends use them when they live together. Usually the one for the wife is just a bit smaller.
We also have rice bowls for couples in the same way.
Click on this thumbnail to view some more samples.

CLICK on the photo for more tea cups.
Traditional Tea cups for Couples

More about Happy Couples (meoto, fuufu) in Japan :
Meoto Daruma and the Takasago Legend 夫婦だるま



Gioo Ki ya kuttaku mo naku wakaki koe

Gio Memorial Day -
this young voice

so carefree

Tr. Gabi Greve


Related words

***** Memorial Days of Famous People


1 comment:

Gabi Greve - Buson said...

Yosa Buson

mijikayo ya itoma tamawaru shirabyooshi