Witness the Pride of Japan : Yosokai Matsuri...!!!

Nippon is the land of various traditional festivals. This article is about another very popular festival celebrated all over in Japan.


Yosakoi is originated in Japan, it is the unique style of dance that is performed at festivals and events all over the country. In 1954 the first Yosakoi festival was held, in Kochi. In Japan, Yosakoi-style dancing has spread throughout. Yosakoi is Kochi's most famous festival. It is held over 4 days from Aug 9 to 12, the whole of Kochi City is over-run by Yosakoi-dance troupes. Teams of energetic dancers compete for the grand prize in the heat of mid-summer, and entire streets are closed off to traffic. From 1954, its relatively short history gives this dance festival its contemporary feel. This style is a combination of Japanese dance movements with modern music and the dance is highly energetic. Often the choreographed dances are performed by large teams. Yosakoi is also a popular event during the sports festivals held by Japanese elementary, junior, and senior high schools, Along with a number of professional yosakoi schools and town dance teams. Almost all ages, Yosakoi participants include men and women, sometimes within a single team. 

There are many Yosakoi teams, from university clubs to local community-based groups, in Japan. Each team will create their music, costumes, and choreography normally. No prior dance experience is required and anyone can join a team. In one team you can find three generations of the same family. There are a number of Sō-Odori, Apart from the original dances created by each team which is dances that all teams can learn and perform together, usually at the end of a festival or a competition. The meaning of yasakoi is "come tonight" and it is taken from the traditional Japanese folk song Yosakoi Bushi. Nowadays, however, when hearing the word "Yosakoi" most people would not take it to mean anything other than the type of the dance. Yasakoi has spread all over Japan and changed its form quite dramatically, but to be Yosakoi the dancers must use Naruko, clappers similar to castanets. From the original Happi coat to some quite exotic and fantastic fashions, costumes have developed too. To give groups their distinctive style Make up also helping. Within the same group often, the groups are composed of both sexes and all ages. Each year, around Japan there are more than 200 Yosakoi festivals. Yosakoi teams are free to choreograph new routines, unlike some traditional dance festivals. Wooden clappers, called Naruko, is a common thread that is held by each dancer. The original 'Seicho Odori' dance is used by many teams and uses Yosakoi-Bushi songs as their inspiration. The costumes vary widely used by yosakoi teams. Happi coats and yukata can be seen in a wide variety of colors and are the most predominant costumes. Based on historical attire, popular fashions, or ethnic fashions, some groups choose costumes. Typically, all team members wear similar costumes. The use of naruko is one of the defining aspects of the yosakoi dance. It is the small wooden clappers that are held in the hands of each dancer. Originally, Naruko was used in Kōchi Prefecture to scare birds away from rice fields. On a wooden body, the traditional naruko has black and yellow beaters. But in modern yosakoi groups, choosing colors and materials that match their costumes, create their own naruko. In yosakoi dance, the use of naruko is required. The official yosakoi dance is based on a song, written by Takemasa Eisaku, called "Yosakoi Naruko Dancing". By combining elements of three songs this song was created which are: "Yosakoi-bushi" ("yosakoi melody"), "Yocchore" (a children's song), and "Jinma-mo" (a folk song of Kōchi Prefecture). In other areas, Competitions and festivals may not have this requirement (thus allowing teams to compose their own music) or may require that elements of different local folk songs are worked into the dance routines.

The copyright on "Yosakoi Naruko Dancing" to the public has given by takemasa. In the city of Kōchi, Japan, Yosakoi Matsuri ("yosakoi festival") is a festival. Since 1954 it has taken place every August and it is the original yosakoi festival. Teams of dancers and floats crowd to dance the yosakoi naruko dance together, in this festival. Yearly the number of participants has been increasing. 

There are some rules of the Kōchi yosakoi competition are as follows:

1.     In the dance, participants must use the naruko clappers.

2.     Musical arrangements of any kind are acceptable, at least some part of

3.     Takemasa's original "Yosakoi Naruko Dancing" song must include in the music.

4.     150 participants are the limit of teams.