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28 October 2014
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Japanese visitors' samurai dance
Nihon Gin Ken Shibudo-Kai THIS STORY LAST UPDATED:
24 October 2002 1045 BST

The city's museum plays host to an unusual form of entertainment this weekend, performed by a group of 18 Japanese visitors.
Nihon Gin Ken Shibudo-Kai perform the art of Kenshibu

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History of Kenkichi Sakakibara

Bristol City Museum

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A free show of Japanese sword dancing takes place at the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery on Sunday 27th October.

It will be performed by an 18-strong team of women and men called Nihon Gin Ken Shibudo-Kai, who are visiting Bristol from Japan as part of a short tour of the UK.

The group will demonstrate Kenshibu, a combination of martial arts and traditional Japanese dance, based on Japanese samurai sword arts.

The art form was developed in the late 19th century as the samurai class was being dissolved by the Japanese government and the samurai’s right to carry swords was abolished.

Kenkichi Sakakibara

A former samurai called Kenkichi Sakakibara is credited with inventing the dance in about 1873 and its tradition has continued.

But don't expect any inadvertent spilling of blood - dancers use wooden swords of fans instead of the lethal metal samurai swords.

Dances are performed in traditional dress to the accompaniment of poems.

As well as the colourful dances the Oriental visitors will also be giving a demonstration of Japanese ink painting.

In ancient times Japanese samurai were often skilled in arts such as painting and calligraphy as well as being pretty handy in the martial arts department.

The dancing and painting can be seen at the museum on Queens Road at 2pm.
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