Esashi Jinku

[Full notes] [Summary notes] [Other dances & the source code]

Region Detail Iwate Prefecture, 16th Century.
Formation Couples. No hold.
Dance Structure (A + B + (C x 2) + D) + (A + B + (E x 2) + D) repeated until the end of the music.
Music Structure 2 counts/bar, 6 bar phrases.
Music Speed 100 counts/min.
Translation Blossom Branch
Source Marina Wolstenholme at her SIFD Japanese dance day course at Cecil Sharp House on 2001/10/13. She learnt it from Kiyoshi Kahazawa at York in 1994.

Disclaimer: Mistakes are quite likely in the notes and no guarantees are made as to accuracy. There may be other versions of the same dance or other dances with the same name. Music may differ, particularly in speed, introduction and duration, between performers. The division into parts, bars & counts might not be standard. These notes of the dance are freely distributable (under GPL or CC-by-sa) in so much as the note's author's contribution but the choreography and/or collection were by other people and so their copyright might apply to the dance itself. Better than using notes, go to a dance class where it is taught.

Both partners do identically the same moves.

These notes are mainly based on how I remembered the dance being taught other than details of its origin which were from Marina's handout and the number of repeats of hand motion in Part B was corrected by a friend's report of a video of the course.

When I first wrote up these notes, I made one serious omission though: the dance speed! When I came back to lead this dance after 9 year gap, I remembered how it looked and had my notes of the sequence but both forgotten the speed and ratio between the step counts and the music beats as the bar divisions are not very clear (my memory is mainly visual). Oops. I did it one way and found it worked nicely as a jolly martial dance. I then worried that I had accidentally done it at double speed and so lead it the next time slower and it worked nicely as a Tai Chi like dance. I contacted Marina & asked her. It turned out that the faster one was correct. However as the accidentally slow one was also enjoyable, albeit wrong & untraditional, I've added that as an option on the end of these notes.

Styling: Forceful but controlled & flowing (although I written it below as a series of discrete moves for convenience) like martial arts.


Summary: Start when the singing starts.

Start immediately the music starts and do the first bar of Part A (knee bends down & up with feet together twice) x 6 (therefore, including the start of the normal Part A which follows, there are 8 knee bends with feet together in total there) with Part A bar 3 coinciding with the start of the music.

I find it easiest to just wait through the first 4 bars and then start with Part A at the beginning of the next phrase.

Part A

Summary: Knee bends straightening arms down & opening fist with feet together. Reverse. Repeat with R foot across in front, together, L across infront, together.

Start Facing partner. Hands as fists close to body infront of sternum. Feet together. Weight on both feet.
Legs Dip by bending the knees (keep upper body upright).
Arms Sweep down and out to the sides a (about 45 deg from body).
Hands Open out flat (so the extension emphasises the downward arm motion.
2 Reverse the motion of count back to original position (straighten knees whilst closing fists and raising arms to chest).
2 Repeat bar 1 (bend knees whilst arms go down and fists open).
1 Repeat bar 1 count 1 (bend knees whilst arms go down and fists open) but whilst stepping onto the R foot across infront.
2 Repeat bar 1 count 2 but taking the weight onto the L foot in place.
4 Repeat bar 3 but closing R foot to the L foot and taking weight onto both feet.
5-6 Repeat bars 3-4 in mirror image on the opposite feet (knee bend etc. whilst L across infront, knee straighten etc. whilst taking weight on R foot, repeat all taking weight on both feet together).

Part B

Summary: R side touch whilst hands circle acw. Ditto but R side step & circle ends with push to the R. Mirror all.

Start Facing partner. Hands flat with palms towards partner about 40cm infront of shoulders with elbows down.
Feet R to the side touching ball to ground without taking weight. Lift it a little afterwards ready for the next step.
Hands Do an acw circle (diameter about that of hand spacing) in a vertical plane (the hands' initial position being the top of the circle) keeping palms facing partner.
Body Moves to the R with the side step so that the L hand ends up where the R was in space after the circling.
2 Repeat counts 1-2 except that the R side step now takes the weight and second half of the circle becomes the hands moving horizontally (maintaining the same separation) with palms turning to face R (a pushing R gesture).
3-4 Repeat bar 1 in mirror images with opposite feet & hands.

Part C

Summary: Karate pose (R arm horizontal to side with palm down, L forearm up) looking at partner over R shoulder back to back. Reverse arms & looking direction.

Start Facing partner.
Feet Move to both feet flat on the floor with R foot forward close to L of partner's R foot.
R arm Move to straight horizontally with hand flat with palm down. Parallel to and directly alongside partner's R arm.
L arm Move to hand flat with elbow down and palm just infront of and facing head.
Head Move to face to the R.
2 Pause looking (or staring) at partner's face over R shoulder.
1 Swivel acw keeping feet in the same place and swapping arm gestures to form the mirror image of the posture of bar 1 but leaning backwards a bit. (Of course, the L arms will now be pointing out not alongside, but still parallel.)
2 Pause looking at partner's face over L shoulder (this is what required leaning backwards.)

Part D

Summary: Cross passing R shoulders with (R forwards with R arm forwards & L hand to R elbow, mirror). Turn cw to face with (R forward, L heel touch) whilst arms rotate to R forearm up infront & L hand to R elbow.

Start As at end of previous part. No hold.
Feet R walking step forwards.
R Arm Straight horizontally forwards with hand flat with palm down.
L Arm Horizontal with elbow bent 90 deg with hand flat with palm down with finger tips touching R arm on top at R elbow position.
2 Pause.
2 Repeat bar 1 with opposite feet and hands (i.e. L step forwards with L arm forwards & R hand to L elbow).
Feet Step R forwards pivoting on L 180 deg cw to face partner.
Arms Down and continue smoothly round towards the position they end up in the next bar (this is one continuous motion spread this & the following bar).
Feet L heel to ground slightly forwards without weight.
Arms Continue smoothly round to end in a position like that of bar 1 count 1 except that the R arm is bent 90 deg at the elbow so that the R forearm is vertical and ones R palm is towards ones face.

Coincidentally the final arm position is very similar to a rude gesture in UK culture (the difference being that the hands are flat rather than R as fist and L grasping R arm). This can be considered either unfortunate or amusing :-) .

Part E

Summary: Holding L hands. R across infront diving R arm down across infront, reverse.

Start Facing partner. Holding L hands.
Feet R step forwards to L of partner's R foot.
R Arm Sweep it curved up & over the joined L arms with hand flat and palm to inside of that arc. Continue hand down deep the other side of the joined arms bending torso forwards as necessary.
2 Transfer weight to L foot.
Feet R step backwards.
R Arm Reverse the arm motion of bar 1.
2 Transfer weight to L foot.

Half speed version

Summary: At half speed (unofficial).

By accident when I came back to lead this dance after 9 year gap I found I both forgotten the speed and forgotten to write down the ratio of counts to beats but found it also worked (albeit untraditional of course :-) ) at half the intended speed. I.e. count the music as "1 a 2 a" instead of "1 2 | 1 2". If done flowingly it has a Tai Chi Chuan feel instead of a martial arts feel.