Shomyo is a chant brought to Japan from China in the 9th century and used in Japanese Buddhist services. Such services conducted in translated Japanese are called renji, and the part of renji that is sung is called shirabyoshi. Later, shirabyoshi came to refer also to female performers who sung Buddhist and Chinese literary texts and danced as well. This talk will introduce shomyo and shirabyoshi and discuss their transformation over time. Co-sponsored with the Center for Japanese Studies.