NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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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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2007/1/11


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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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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