Friday, September 4, 2009

Surprise Yosakoi

While I was at the kids kagura last saturday, a little bird whispered in my ear that there was going to be a secret, surprise yosakoi performance next morning in front of the local train station. I really like yosakoi dancing, so sunday morning we turned up in front of the deserted station.


Yosakoi dancing was invented in Kochi City back in 1954 and is pretty much traditional movements combined with modern music. Really the only rule is that naruko, japanese castanets, must be used. Yosakoi has spread all over Japan now, and has led to a wide range of styles. costumes etc.


The group performing here, Team Mugen from Okayama City, chose to use kagura flute and kagura melody in their dance, so they turned to 87 year old Ebiya-san, a friend of ours who lives in Kawado. He is the inventor and maker of the "Hero flute" that is now the standard flute in kagura performances here in the west of Japan.


The group had rented a bus and driven up more than 100 miles from Okayama to stage a surprise performance for Ebiya-san, who lives right next to the station.


I hadn't seen a group use lanterns before.


Though quite a few groups have a flag bearer.


You can seee a slideshow of all 47 photos here.


  1. Interesting facts and photos about yosakoi. I am not big fan of yosakoi, but sometimes I watch it. I wonder why it became so popular in Japan.

  2. i always enjoy seeing these kinds of street performances, thanks Jake for sharing the pictures

  3. I attended one in Harajuku, 5 or 6 years ago. That was pretty interesting. A good memory.