|Dance is at the very heart of all Asian theatre. Japan is no exception. According to the Kojiki, the oldest text of Shinto mythology, Sun Goddess Amatarasu-omikami withdrew to a cave to escape the mischief of Susunoo the Wind God, thus depriving the world of light and warmth. She could only be lured out by the general laughter surrounding the bawdy dances of the "Dread Female of Heaven." Whether court-sanctioned (kagura-leading to noh, gigaku, bugaku, gagaku) or popular (the erotic dances of shrine entertainer Izumo no Okuni, the "Edo Madonna," that paved the way for kabuki), traditional dance contains the body language that informs onstage movement in Japan to this day.