Social Dance (shakō dansu) in Japan: Between Sociability and Sport

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Abstract

Since the film Shall We Dansu? (1996) and many TV shows, social dance has become known to a wider audience in Japan. Nevertheless, prejudices such as „That doesn‟t suit the Japanese‟ continue to exist, because the intimate body contact in ballroom dancing is hard to accept in a culture where „skinship‟ (body contact) is only important during childhood. For this reason, dance schools were under the law controlling Japanese entertainment and the sex industry until 1998. This article deals with the historical situation and cultural issues of social dance in Japan.

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