© Setsuo Kato
Bu U is a Japanese dance group formed in April 2012. It comprises the talented London based dancers Ayaka Furukawa, Yasuna Higuma , Ryota Kodera, Yuki Kizawa, Hiromi Sato, Miho Kodama and Takeshi Matsumoto.
Bu U’s aim is to present new choreography inspired by folk dances from all over Japan including Hanagasa Ondo from Tohoku.
Bu U’s debut performance was on the Big Dance Bus as part of Big Dance 2012, since then, they have been invited to several UK events and festivals including Japan Matsuri 2012 where they premiered their most popular traditional carnival dance, Awa Odori from Tokushima.
© Setsuo Kato
The name Bu U was chosen by the dancers in the group and derives from the Chinese characters 舞遊. The name relates to a famous story in Japanese mythology concerning a goddess dancing at the mouth of a cave in order to lure the sun God, Amaterasu ōmikami, out of the cave and bring light to the world. This myth is said to be the origin of many traditional Japanese dances which continue to flourish today.
Why we are “Bu U”?
Dancing was originally a dedication to the Gods in Japan. In Japanese dancing is called kami asobi from kami meaning god and asobi meaning play. The character for asobi can also be read a “yuh” (U) but the character can also be read as mai which means dancing like flying. The name Bu U thus captures the spirit of the group – dancing as playing and dancing as flying.
Calligraphy by: Yukiko Ayres