The founder of Yoshimura School, Fuku Yamanouchi, was one of the okyougenshi dance instructors for ladies of the Imperial Court in Kyoto. She was famous for sophisticated and refined choreography. Her pupil, Fuji Yoshimura, the first head of the Yoshimura School, moved to Osaka and played a significant role in dance and the performing arts.
The second head, Yuu Yoshimura, and the third head, Yuukou Yoshimura, preserved the refined older traditional dances. Their dances were extremely charming and beautiful. Following the Second World War, the fourth head, Yuuki Yoshimura moved to Tokyo after receiving an invitation from Shoutarou Hanayagi, a famous actor of the Shinpa school of theater. Since then, the word Kamigatamai has been used for these traditional style of dances.
The fourth head, Yuuki Yoshimura was a gifted choreographer. He revived many old dance pieces and also created new dance works. He strove to popularize the legitimate kamigatamai nationwide as a form of on-stage performing art and received many awards.
The Yoshimura School is based on the arts of "shimai", an informal dance style of "Noh" Theater. The technique of the Yoshimura School integrates various traditional performances like "utai" (Noh chanting), "mibukyougen" (a pantomime performed in the Mibu temple), "ningyou-joururi" (Japanese puppet drama) and so on. The Yoshimura School is recognized by its elaborated choreography and its elegant movement.
The sixth head, Kishou Yoshimura, resided as a pupil for a long period in the fourth head’s home. He inherited his teacher’s traditional techniques: all the body movements from head to toe, breath control and eye movement.