Yosakoi is an energetic Japanese dance performed in summer. There is a big festival in Harajuku at the end of August. More than 100 yosakoi teams perform on the stages and in the streets of fashion.Yosakoi was started in Tochi Prefecture in the hard times just after world war 2. People made the new dance, which is inspired from Awa-Odori performed without any tools, to shine and encourage themselves. I suppose that the spirit is similar to Rio’s carnival.
So Yosakoi is energetic, bright-colored, loud and full of big smiles! Just see the photos, and you’ll see why you can’t miss it!
|Yosakoi Dance at Harajuku Omotesando Super Yosakoi (by Harajuku Yosakoi-ren)|
Each team makes their own dance as they like. There is no fixed music nor dance. Most teams use powerful music with positive words like, “Tomorrow is waiting!” “Go for your dream!” and so on. Just enjoy it. That’s the rule!
For example, the following team changed their costumes twice or more, and it was very exciting to see.
Their performance has a story and images; It starts with black storms, and it becomes green breezes and finally it gets sunny.
|Sunny!! (performed by Shippu-Rambu)|
Although many costumes are inspired from kimonos, there is no rule about it, either. That’s why super pop costumes are fine, too!
|Pop costumes! (by Asobi System & Diamond Dining)|
It is Yosakoi’s specialty that the dancers hold wooden tools like castanets called naruko. But not limited, anyway.
|Beat the narukos!|
Yosakoi is for everyone; It is not teenagers’ pop culture nor old people’s activity.
You will see from little children to old people dancing on the stage.
|Adults and elderly people.|
When I visited Super Yosakoi Festival myself, I found that it was beyond my expectations; Although it was a little rainy (the MCs said that it is quite rare for Super Yosakoi at the end of August), my heart got really hot.
In my opinion, Yosakoi is traditional and modern at the same time, so it is that attractive for people of today. Many of traditional Japanese things are not for expressions and passions. For example, if it is a dance, the music and things to do have been all fixed for centuries and we must not change them. Too stiff, isn’t it? So they don’t interest today’s people, and as a result, they go to museums.
But when it comes to yosakoi, I feel like trying it if I have a chance. It is relatively creative in Japanese performances, and most importantly, I’m sure that it’s fun!
If you visit Tokyo at the end of August, I really recommend Harajuku Omotesando Super Yosakoi!
Descriptions of Harajuku Super Yosakoi
Date: The last weekend in August, 10:00 –
Performed by 101 teams from all over Japan and the world.
Harajuku Sightseeing Guide by Tokyo Direct Guide – Recently RENEWED!