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!
At the annual two day Yosakoi performance at the Ikebukuro Fukuro Matsuri I took these photos of wonderful kids dancing! I think the youngest dancer I saw must have been about 4 years old, these however, were a little older. Have a great weekend and remember to do something with your time! Get off the Internet and go out dancing!
At Ikebukuro’s gigantic Fukuro Matsuri, the Owl Festival, one of Tokyo’s largest Yosakoi competitions, I saw this performance by the team RHK Kizuna, who had a splendid performance including a half second costume change half way through! I don’t know much about yosakoi, the second of Japan’s two large group dance styles. I think I’m particularly pleased wit the last shot in the series. Enjoy!
The beauty of digital cameras, there is no budget stopping you from shooting too many photos and I just kept the camera going as the procession whirled, danced and jumped past me! Yosakoi to me is like the cross between a Japanese pop band and a folk dance group, it is colorful and loud and even though this team had very well made costumes and is probably one of the best yosakoi teams in Japan it is great fun to watch all levels of dancers, from the beginners to the professionals! I hope I can see more of this festival come summer.