Yosakoi Soran Festival
The YOSAKOI Soran Festival first came about when in 1992, the clappers used in the original Yosakoi Festival from Kochi Prefecture was adapted into Hokkaido’s traditional folk song “Soran Bushi”. Clothed in brightly colored outfits, the dancers beat their clappers to the melody of Soran Bushi, dancing in a spirited and dynamic way. The energy from their dances permeates through the streets, creating a lively atmosphere.
The uniqueness of the YOSAKOI Soran Festival lies in the originality of the dances performed. There are only two rules to follow –
1. To have clappers in your hands as you dance and;
2. To include a phrase from Soran Bushi in your song
Other than that, the teams have completely free reign over their choreography, song and costumes!
※Regarding the clappers
These were originally hung in fields to drive away birds with their sound. Ever since their incorporation into the Yosakoi Festival dances in Kochi, they are now invaluable symbolic props used in present-day and nationwide YOSAKOI related events.
Soran Bushi is a type of traditional Hokkaido folk song. The fishermen of Hokkaido would sing this as a labor song when they go out to fish for herring. One can feel the massive strength that radiates as the rhythm of the “Yaren soran!” cry in the song is matched to the tugging of ropes and pulling of the net.
From its beginnings of 10 participating teams totaling 1000 participants and 200 thousand spectators, the festival has grown into an event celebrated not only in Hokkaido but all over Japan and even internationally, totaling about 270 teams with 27 thousand participants and close to 2 million spectators each time.
Anyone can enjoy the festival, regardless of your age, occupation or position in society as this festival continues to transcend regions and generations.
The YOSAKOI Soran Festival aims to extend its reach to more people and regions so as to spread our “Inspiration & Energy”.