Tokyobling's Blog

Ikebukuro Yosakoi Festival – Flags

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on December 2, 2012

Winter is here and there’s fewer and fewer festivals, so why not recall the summer with one of the last big summer festivals, the Fukuro Matsuri in Tokyo’s northern Ikebukuro district and the two day Yosakoi festival. Recently the huge yosakoi dance teams are becoming more popular abroad, as there are now teams in the US, Malaysia, Indonesia and even Ghana! The rules of yosakoi is simple, no more than 150 members per team and they have to contain elements of the original yosakoi music as well as use the traditional wooden clappers. Many teams have also started using the huge flags, the bigger the better, that you can see at the end of this post. The flags are so big that only the strongest team members can handle them and the trick is in getting them to swirl gracefully in the air without touching the ground. It really does look impressive. If you are into sequenced dancing and flashy outfits, yosakoi might just be for you!

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14 Responses

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  1. lilichan06 said, on December 2, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Ohhh amazing !!
    I can’t believe how difficult it must be to handle such a huge flag!
    Really wonderful :-)

    • tokyobling said, on December 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Thanks Lilichan! It must be heavy enough just to carry a flag like that…!

  2. amadl said, on December 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Indeed, the flags sizes seem to get bigger and bigger every year..
    No one will feel sad after seeing (or/and dancing) yosakoi.. maybe that’s why they’re getting so popular.

    • tokyobling said, on December 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Haha… how big will they get? Exciting! Do you dance too, or help out the HR team?

      • amadl said, on December 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm

        I’ve been dancing since 2008.. Hopefully we can make it to Harajuku Super Yosakoi in the next 3 years

        • tokyobling said, on December 3, 2012 at 3:34 pm

          That would be great! Looking forward to seeing you! If you come I must meet your team!

  3. Coal said, on December 3, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Love the monochrome one 2nd/3rd from bottom. It’s like he’s casting some kind of whirlwind spell. Also I’m pretty sure I have a picture of the girl on the right in picture 1 from about 4 and a half years ago. :-)

    • tokyobling said, on December 3, 2012 at 5:30 am

      Thank you for the kind words! I can understand you would remember her – she does stand out among the dancers!

  4. DoF@theinfill said, on December 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Your really have portrayed the energy with theses shots – great captures

  5. Allison said, on December 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Great photos! I feel like I’m there (in the street with the dancers, not just on the sidelines), and I can practically hear the music…

    • tokyobling said, on December 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Thank you for the kind comment Allison! Glad you enjoyed the photos! (^-^)

  6. Goukaseishi said, on December 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Amazing pictures. I love Ikebukuro as well, so i wish i could see this :)

    • tokyobling said, on December 10, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Hurry up and visit soon! The festival season is just half a year away!

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