Monday, August 8, 2011

Yosakoi Naruko Odori

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   In summer 2010, a film set in Kochi,`Kimi ga odoru, natsu: The summer you are dancing in’ was released.  The story is about a girl struggling with an intractable disease. Her condition was so serious that she might die that summer. She had one thing she had longed to do while she was alive. It was to dance Yosakoi Naruko Odori. The movie was attracted considerable attention because it’s based on a true story.

   I know a woman in other prefecture who lives a year centering round Yosakoi festival. I also have a friend of mine in Kochi who is eager to dance Yosakoi, though she has been told not to by her doctor. To my regret, these stories aren’t seen in the theater.

   The rule of Yosakoi Naruko Dance is holding Naruko: clappers in your hands, moving forward to the music which has at least a few Yosakoi melodies. This is all. These days, the dance is diversified from traditional one to novel one dancing to hip-hop music. It’s appealing you can dance in a dancing team on that single day of the festival without practicing. Moreover, you have a chance to see some actresses, who you can watch only on TV, walk dancing with a smile just in front of you.

   Recently, Yosakoi Naruko Dance has been spread throughout Japan as far as Hokkaido. Naruko is said to be originally a farming tool made on the purpose of driving birds away to protect crops. I think it is just like the characteristic of people in Kochi to have had the unique idea of using that tool for the dance. This unique and unrestrained Yosaki Naruko Dance, I’m sure, has the disposition of Ryoma, who loves freedom, and the spirit of `Okyaku: entertaining guests and enjoying yourself’.

   Most of the dancing teams have been practicing for a couple of months before the festival, though there is a team you can take part in on that day only. So they perform the wonderful dance in perfect order. In almost all the teams, men dance boldly and majestically like the impression of the rough sea in Kochi, while women show lustrous dance. Each team has its own elaborate costume, hairstyle and makeup. It’s fun for you to talk it over with your friends which team you want to join.

   Zenyasai: Yosakoi Naruko Festival Eve is held on August 9, Honsai: the festival 10-11,Koyasai: the festival held the day after Honsai 12, when the national contest is taken place. During these days, some roads in Kochi are closed. The festival is the biggest event all the people in Kochi participate in. Dancing at the festival can be a decoration for us. Why don’t you come and see the `hot’ smiling faces of the dancers performing in colorful costume under the pure blue sky in Kochi?

posted by Y.O

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