Japanese traditional dancer, national treasure Nishikawa dies

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japanese traditional Nihon Buyo dancer Nishikawa Senzo, who was recognized as a living national treasure, has died of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital, his office said July 18. He was 95.

Senzo, a Tokyo native who died July 14, made his Nihon Buyo dance debut at age 5 in 1933 and inherited the title of head of the Nishikawa school at age 7 in 1936 after the previous holder, his mother, died.

He has not only worked on and performed classical pieces of Nihon buyo, a performing art of which its origin can be traced back to the eighth century, but also dedicated himself to choreographing new works.

In recognition of his outstanding achievements, he was given the title of living national treasure in 1999, received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in 2009 and was selected as a Person of Cultural Merit in 2021.

He founded the Nihon Buyo Foundation in 1990 and became its chairman, striving to promote the activities of the arts both nationally and internationally.

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