Hanayagi Sukekatsumi 花柳輔佳津美 (Michiko Kurata) has been performing traditional Japanese dance for 30 years. She studied “kabuki buyo,” a popular dance form derived from kabuki, under several masters of traditional Japanese dance in Japan. “Kabuki buyo" originated in Japan more than 400 years ago among the female street performers in Edo (modern day Tokyo) and has spread throughout all social classes since. Ms. Kurata placed first in the junior division of the prestigious National Dance Contest at the age of 15. The same year, she attained the "natori" status and earned the professional name of Hanayagi Sukekatsumi. Since coming to the US in 1996, she has performed at numerous cultural shows and has been giving lectures at local colleges on traditional Japanese dance.