"Menburyu is Kashima city's original traditional dance and Saga prefecture's Important Intangible Folk Cultural asset. The dance is to wish for a huge harvest, praying for rain and dedication to god. The dancers wear Furyu masks, they wear horse hair on their heads, hang a small drum from their shoulders and dance bravely with sounds of whistles, bells and drums. Depending on the area, the costumes are different but around Ariake Sea and west Saga to Isahaya city in Nagasaki prefecture, the dancers wear the livery coat with a sailor's pattern or a plain navy blue undergarment. Menburyu is popular with locals and is also known around the prefecture" (http://www.sugicho.com/en/furyu.php)
The MENBURYU-INSPIRED DANCE-FITNESS program, currently under development by Stephanie Ann Houghton and professional fitness instructor Kazuki Miyata, is an educational dance-fitness program inspired by Menburyu that connects heritage management, art generation. intercultural dialogue, technology, health and fitness across age groups in aging society.
By creatively integrating movements inspired by Menburyu into aerobic fitness routines (through basic steps/model routines and original dance-fitness development), we aim to generate dynamic dance-fitness culture to help revitalize Menburyu and support community development on many levels.
This program is supported by Kashima City Hall (Kashima, Saga, Japan) in a project that was initially funded by Saga University COC with special support from Mai Mishima and Kotaro Ideta. Many thanks to everyone who has supported this project so far.