Monday, August 27, 2007


*写真に写っている方で掲載をやめてほしいという方は、kokopelli_sa88 at hotmail dot com までご連絡下さい。

Are you a dancer?
Are you a professional dancer of taking dance lessons as a hobby?

Even if you’re not, in this rural town in Japan you can experience the followings every summer if you decide to participate as a dancer in our big summer dance festival, Yosakoi Festival. (To find out more about Yosakoi festival, click HERE.)


If you participate...

You'll be practicing after work in a park or a parking lot or a school gym… and even in your room.You'll struggle with the dance routine and get sick of having to wash your T’s soaked in sweat again and again and again...

But on the days of the festival….

There'll be no cars on the venue streets (except for buses at a couple of venues).

The street is all yours.

The spectators will love you...

…because you practiced hard.

…because you are doing your best.

…because you are being yourself in front of them.

…because you represent the good old tradition that never changes.

…because the way your vibrant costume moves is breathtaking.

…because you are here not for money but purely for your joy.

…because you are proving that working hard and achieving something has a meaning.

…because your expression of the joy tells them the “meaning” of the whole thing.

You'll be amazed to find how much your body appreciates plain cold tea or water poured into plastic cups directly from huge plastic buckets.

Maybe this festival is the MUST for the prefecture because it’s an important (or the only) way for this poor prefecture to make money.
But these people are not here in the crazy heat with a burning desire to save the prefecture from going bankrupt.

Many of the shop owners in the arcades/shopping streets could be losing more money than making, because actually not many people come in to shop while the dancing is going on there.
And still they need to financially support their local yosakoi dance teams.

Then why do they keep supporting this craze?

It’s just for these smiles…

Many dancers say that Yosakoi in Kochi is about ‘bonding.’

You realize that you have a special bond with all the team mates who came this far with you…

…and the staff and volunteers who supported the festival all the way through,

…and the spectators who fanned you when you were dancing.

When you get to the goal at a dance venue, you see the choreographer and/or leader, staff and your team mates waiting, cheering you up.

You realize how much they cared about you, and wanted you to feel the joy that they know very well about.

Many dancers confess that at their last dance, they almost feel like crying as they see the silhouette of their team mates ahead in the bright light of the leading truck at the goal.

It's hard to say goodbye to the special days in which you let your passion control you...

...the passion you never knew you had.

And after going through all these,
you’ll want to plunge into this madness again next summer.


Click this photo to see all my Yosakoi photos on a slideshow(when you have plenty of time)!
See the beautiful costumes that I couldn't post here.

* Photos in this post by obachan -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

posted by obachan, 8/27/2007 11:36:00 AM | link | 11 comments |