While in Kochi, the Yosakoi Festival was taking place. This is a fairly new festival, started after WWII and is a modern version of the Tokushima’s Awa Odori (which we’ll be going to in a couple of days).
About 200 teams from around Japan participate and unlike traditional Japanese festivals there are very few rules – one is that the naruko wooded clappers be used and the other that a portion of the original Yosakoi dance music be included. The lack of rules opens the door for some creative dancing and costumes ranging from traditonal, samba, rock to avant-garde. However, in many cases the results are disappointing.
The festival takes place from noon to night in various places around central Kochi – one is a shopping arcade that provides shade and a whiff of air conditioning from the stores. Kochi is hot and humid, no way to avoid dripping in sweat.
Unlike a traditional festival with live taiko drums, flute, and other instruments. The music is blasted from a tower of speakers mounted on the back of a elaborately decorated truck that leads each team. In some cases there is a live band or taiko drums being played from a stage mounted on the truck but in many cases it is a soundtrack but with a live singer. I didn’t care for this.
However there were some really impressive teams. One was Jyunin-Toiro (十人十彩) – the second team shown in the video clip below. Another decent team was Obiyamachi (帯屋町筋) that includes Ryoko Hirosue (広末涼子), the first team shown in the clip:
Some random shots: