The 21st Yosakoi Soran Festival will be held in Odori Park and various other venues around Sapporo, Hokkaido from Wednesday, 6th June to Sunday, 11 June. The mega-event attracts around one million visitors to see the approximately 300 teams comprised of around 30,000 dancers.
Teams from all over the country and abroad take part in this spectacular and colorful dance festival, which combines original yosakoi dance from Kochi with the music of soran - traditional work songs sung by Hokkaido's fishermen.
Besides the main venues in and around Odori Park in central Sapporo, yosakoi performances will be held at Shinoro Homac, Shinkotoni, Hiragishi Odori (Route 453) and Hongo-dori.
This year teams from Russia and Brazil are entered and Kansas State University danced in 2008.
Yosakoi originated in Kochi on Shikoku in the 1950s and has since become popular all over Japan. Other big yosakoi festivals in Japan include the original Yosakoi Matsuri in Kochi, the Harajuku Omotesando Genki Matsuri Super Yosakoi in Harajuki and Yoyogi Park in Tokyo and events in Saitama and Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture.
Soran Festival Website (in Japanese)
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