How to dance: an abbreviated introduction

How to look right, then straight ahead, then left, courtesy of WAKAYA[NA?]GI Takami 若柳多賀三 in her Odorikata nyūmon (踊り方入門, "How to dance: an introduction"). Remember to read right to left!

Note the slight backward head-tilt in the final stage, and of course the eyes throughout. The eyes are as crucial in old-school Japanese art-dance as they are in stage magic, and for the same reason: to help the audience relate to the goings-on on-stage in a manner entirely unsupported by the facts.

One of the several claims to fame of the man that sold me this book is having had Kawabata Yasunari's hand-written title card for the movie Snow Country, a large piece of framed calligraphy, hanging on the wall behind the counter of his store for several decades before selling it to some Kawabata museum or foundation or something.

"How did you get hold of that in the first place?" I asked the shopkeeper after he told me this story.

"That I cannot say," he replied.

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Was there a large blank spot where the card *used* to be?


No, but he showed me a polaroid photo of the piece hanging on the wall, taken just before he sent it off to the museum. The drapes matched.

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