NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/8/3


ばんば踊り Banba-odori Bamba Dance

Jp En

Bamba Dance is a folk dance performed every August during the Matsuri-Nobeoka (Nobeoka Festival) in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture.

Matsuri-Nobeoka is the largest summer festival in northern Miyazaki. In the Bamba-Sou-Odori (Whole Bamba Dance), more than 5,000 townspeople dance in a huge circle. The festivities also include a display of some 10,000 fireworks. This festival lasts for two exciting days.

The Bamba Dance is accompanied by narrative songs known as Kudokiuta, which feature long lyrics. The Bamba Dance seems to be a derivation of Bon festival dances held in each region of Nobeoka.

The lyrics of the songs for the Bamba Dance include many phrases from Kabuki and Joruri, which were very popular in the late Edo period. Therefore, the Bamba Dance is considered to have been popular in the late Edo period.

Indeed, the Bamba Dance has been enjoyed by people for a very long time.
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2007/7/31


酒田まつり Sakata-matsuri Sakata Matsuri Festival

Jp En

Sakata Matsuri is an annual festival that takes place at both Kamihie and Shimohie shrines in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, from May 19 to 21.

The festival has taken place every year for close to 400 years, since the 14th year of the Keicho era. Formerly, the festival was called Sanno Matsuri, but in Showa 54 it was renamed Sakata Matsuri as a festival for all citizens.

On the night before the festival, a traditional dance called Shikidai-no-Gi is performed. The symbol of Sakata, shishito (lion heads), appears in both male and female form during this festival. In addition, local citizens carry floats around the city. Many stalls line the roads and the city takes on a festive mood that recalls its former glory as a port city. Sakata Matsuri is an event brimming with local color.
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2007/7/12


さぬき高松まつり Sanuki-takamatsu-matsuri Sanuki Takamatsu Festival

Jp En

The Sanuki Takamatsu Festival, held in Takamatsu, is the representative festival of Kagawa Prefecture, and one of Shikoku's 4 major festivals.

This festival is the most popular in Takamatsu, and features a dance known as Sou-Odori as its main event. In Sou-Odori, 4000 people participate in the Takamatsu Dance and the Sanuki Dance in Chuo Park.

Festivities are further enlivened by local performing arts, parades, and Udon noodle-eating contests known as the Udon-lympics!

The climax of this festival is one of the largest fireworks displays in Western Japan. 5,000 fireworks are set off, filling the night sky with colorful sparkling lights.

The Sanuki Takamatsu Festival is a big event filled with festive fun.
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2007/7/9


おたる潮まつり Otaru-ushio-matsuri Otaru Ushio Festival

Jp En

The Otaru Ushio Festival was inititated in 1967 (Showa 42) in the hope of preserving the history, culture and further development of Otaru, Hokkaido.

The festival is held aroud Otaru Bay for three days on the last weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun) of July. More than a million people from Hokkaido and from outside visit the festival at this time. Ushio chochin lanterns featuring wave patterns are displayed throughout Otaru and the city fills with excitement as the festival begins.

On the second day of the festival, 5,000 dancers from Hokkaido and outside Hokkaido participate in the Ushio-nerikomi parade. The dancers move in time with the rhythm of the Ushio-Ondo, and the parade stirs up more festival excitement.

Meanwhile, various events are held elsewhere in the city, such as the local Ushio taiko drums perfomance. The drums create a rich and enjoyable rhythm. The final day of the festival features a display of 2,500 fireworks set off into the beautiful night sky of the Otaru Bay, marking a spectacular culmination to the festival.

This festival shows a local appreciation of the sea and Otaru's hope for the city's continued development. The afterglow of festival excitement does not disappear for a long time
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2007/1/19


花笠まつり Hanagasamatsuri Flower-Hat Festival

Jp En

The Flower-Hat Festival (Hanagasa Matsuri), which takes place in Yamagata Prefecture, is known as one of the four largest events to take place in the Tohoku area. The festival takes place annually in August.

The cry of the dancers in the parade, 'Yassho! Makkasho!', and the spirited beat of the hanagasa-daiko drums can be heard during the festival. It is one of Yamagata prefecture's symbolic summer events and draws over a million visitors.

For a week from August 5th, dancers wear hanagasa hats with artificial safflowers on them (the safflower being Yamagata's prefectural flower), and dance along the main streets (for about 1.2km) of Yamagata city.

The Hanagasa Ondo song, which is sung as 'sorota sorotayo' etc., derives from the 'dotsuki' song, which was sung in the Meiji and Taisho periods in the Murayama area. The basic style of dance is 'typical Japanese dance', however, nowadays the advent of dances for men has changed the form of the 'buyo'. Moreover, elements from Westerns dance forms are added, and the new dance forms are slightly different. For Japanese who love festivals, it is an event that they should definitely join.
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2007/1/11


かせかけ Kasekake The Kasekake Dance

Jp En

Kasekake is a classical female dance-form and a part of traditional Ryukyu dance in Okinawa. Kasekake was originally a process of weaving yarn into cloth.

Kakesake as a dance assimilates movements of weaving yarn with movements of affection and love that the young wives experience after their loved ones depart and go forth while they are left to stay. The dancers wear crimson costumes, with their right shoulder out of their sleeves, while holding a reel of yarn and enacting weaving.

The reason why the dancers' right shoulders are not in their sleeves is so they can accurately depict the weaving movements. The dance itself does not involve furious movement and steps, but expresses delicacy through the subtle dancing that requires great experience and talent from the dancers.

This dance-form is not captivating for furious movement or dancing, but for its ability to give people the utmost feelings of affection and emotion through minimal movements.
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エイサー Eisaa The Eisa Dance

Jp En

Eisa is a Bon odori dance held in Okinawa during the Bon festival according to the lunar calendar.

Eisa appears in mentions of Naha (Okinawa) in the 'Records of the Joseon Dynasty' in 1479. It is believed that Eisa had started somewhere around this period. One idea suggests that the word 'eisa' derives from one of the Ryukyu 'omorosaushi' songs; another suggests that it comes from from the call 'eisaa, eisaaa'. Neither suggestion is certain, however.

During Eisa, people walk to each house within their own 'shima' (area). This is called 'michi-jyunae' and happens especially after the 15th, after the 'miokuri'. However, there are places where they do 'michi-jyunae' during the three days of Bon festival, according to the lunar calendar.

Eisa mainly consists of taiko drums and dances. Strenuous dances are performed to the beat of the drums, alongside singing from the 'jiutai' chorus.  The dozens of dancers moving in step to the taiko drums and the dynamism of the whole, is part of the great attraction of Eisa.
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