The sacred dancing girls
"shira-byoshi" sang mainly the tales of ancient myths or Buddhism
myths and the histories of the temples or shrines. These tales were made
to be easy to understand for the people (not for the priests or the scholars),
and sometimes sang the songs of love and nature. The girls sang these songs
with pretty voices, and a flute (hue) and a little hand drum (tsuzumi) accompanied.
They were the successors
that had been flowed from the current of ancient shrine maiden, appeared
as the images of pretty goddess Amenouzume ( means the spiral phenomena
of galaxy )in myth Koziki, or Vajra-nrtya ( a goddess as a dancing courtesan,
a mistress of Amogha-siddhi ), or Vajra-gita (a goddess as singing courtesan,
a mistress of Amitabha ) in Vajra-dhatu-mandara in Tantra-Buddhism or Vajra-yana.
The most famous beautiful
shira-byoshi-girl was "SHIZUKA-Gozen " who was a sweetheart of
the famous hero "Minamotono-YOSHITSUNE", and he loved her very
well. Her name "SHIZUKA" means "silence" that is one
of important words in our Japanese mind, created in"plant- feeling".
Her dance was very mystique and elegant like a flower stiring in a soft
breeze, and she sang like a pretty bird in the myths. So "Heaven"
was pleased with her dance and voice, then blessed a rain at the long spell
of dry weather. ... She was the top of sacred dancing girls in our Japanese
The legends of this
couple,SHIZUKA and YOSHITSUNE, provided a lot of literatures with nice materials
later ( of course, now too, in the comics, novels, or movies...etc. ). Japanese
people, especialy women, like her pretty image.