Bando Shigaji (坂東志賀次)

Shigaji BANDO is the myoseki (family name) of Shigaji Sect, Bando school, one of the five major schools in Nihon Buyo (Classical Japanese Dance).

The iemoto (head family of a school) has been succeeded for generations by women who were very excellent in practical art.

The Originator

It is said that Shigaji, a real younger brother of Mitsugoro BANDO (the third) was the originator of Shigaji line.

The First Generation

Shigaji BANDO (- February 27, 1879)

She is a daughter of Shigaji, a real younger brother of Mitsugoro BANDO the third. Her real name was Kiku. She devoted herself to a dance from her childhood, and established the style of performance of her father, Shigaji, to make it a sect of Bando school. She named herself Shigaji after her father, and in the Keio era, she became a leading figure in the world of dances and the world of drama. It is thought that this is the founder of Shigaji line, Bando school.

She lived in Edo Shibai-cho (drama town, specifically, Saruwaka-cho, Asakusa where Edo Sanza [three licensed kabuki theaters in Edo] stood), and in that residence were three stages in all: a stage which general people used to train themselves, a stage which actors used to train themselves, and a stage which they were able to use to have a run-through. Since she had a dozo (warehouse made of soil) and kept a lot of disciples, it is said that there were no other dance masters who were so prosperous as she was at that time.

In 1868, a big fire hit Shibai-cho, and her residence which had been most extravagant burnt up. Then, she moved to Negishi (Taito Ward) with her adopted daughter, Mitsuji (later Shigaji BANDO the second).

Her forte numbers were 'Musume Dojoji' (the maiden at Dojo-ji Temple) and 'Onatsu Kyoran' (Onatsu's Madness). Although she was a beautiful woman with a thin figure and a fair skin, she had never got married until she died, and was not interested in anything at all except her accomplishments in dancing.

She died on February 27, 1879. She was over 70 years old when she died. Her grave is in Chokoku-ji Temple in Asakusa Ryusenji-machi.

After the Second Generation

Shigaji BANDO the second (- 1924) was an adopted daughter of Shigaji the first. She was also Mitsuji the first.

Shigaji BANDO the third (- 1989) was a disciple of Shigaji the second. She was also Mitsuji the second.

Shigaji BANDO the fourth is an adopted daughter of Shigaji the third. She is the present iemoto. Her previous name was Haruka.