Listen to the sound of yosakoi
Last weekend's matsuri at Kawamoto featured performances by several Yosakoi dance groups.
Yosakoi dancing is group formation dancing to fast-paced modern electronic music, but is based on earlier folk dances from Kochi in Shikoku.
In 1954, in a bid to revive flagging community spirit, the town of Kochi invented the Yosakoi dance.
Since them it has spread all over Japan and changed its form quite dramatically, but to be Yosakoi the dancers must use Naruko, clappers similar to castanets.
Costumes have developed too, from the original Happi coat to some quite exotic and fantastic fashions.
Make-up is also helping to give groups their own distinctive style. The groups are composed of both sexes, and all ages, often within the same group.
There are more than 200 Yosakoi festivals each year around Japan, but none grander than the original at Kochi where more than 15,000 dancers perform each August.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Japan Shimane yosakoi festival podcast
Monday, August 07, 2006
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