Shizuka Gozen dances the dance in Kamakura

The Tokyo-based Public Art Forum is organizing a day of cultural activities in Kamakura on Sept. 30. The forum is organizing a lecture on the role of women who lived in samurai society, including a walking tour of places in Kamakura where these women frequented, such as Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine, and Tokei-ji temple.

In addition, dinner at the popular shojin ryori (vegetarian cuisine) restaurant Hachi-no-ki will be held. The dinner will be accompanied by a Heian Era (794-1192) musical performance by singer/dancer Makiko Sakurai and Jinya Imai, who plays the tsuzumi (hand drum).

Sakurai will sing and dance in the role of Shizuka Gozen, the mistress of the tragic Heian Era warrior Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1123-60). Shizuka was taken to Kamakura when she was captured by monks loyal to Minamoto no Yoshitsune’s brother Yoritomo and was forced to dance for Yoritomo at Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine. Sakurai is Japan’s only professional female chanting vocalist of the Tendai school of Buddhism.

The Public Art Forum is offering free admission to two foreign students (up to university graduate school age) based in Japan. Interested students should e-mail in Japanese by Sept. 12 to chestou@ybb.ne.jp (include your name, nationality, age, sex, school, subject major, how long you have been in Japan and your particular interests in Japan).

The cost for taking part in all of the events is 15,000 yen. General inquiries can be directed to sugi-p@publicart.co.jp

Those wanting to participate in the lecture should meet at Kita Kamakura New Building, Hachi-no-ki restaurant (near JR Kita Kamakura Station’s North Exit) at 9:45 a.m. To participate in the walking tour, attendees should arrive at Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine at 1:20 p.m. Anyone wanting to attend the dinner should arrive at Hachi-no-ki (tel. [0467] 23-3723) at 3:40 p.m.