Dance costume (2) – Bon odori

October 11, 2009

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This group is about to start their routine – a chance to capture costume design before the frenzy of the dance steps.

Kochi Yosakoi Naruko Odorikotai. Origin: Kochi City, Shikoku Island (south).

Dances/costumes: This Group has always participated at the birthplace of the Yosakoi Festival in Kochi. A dance of many dozens of performers, male and female, performed both in a fixed space and walking on parade. Note the vests with braided ties over long-sleeve tops with kimono-type necklines; note the coloured chirimen-silk flounces below the vest. Note that some carry the noisy clackers typical of folk dancing while others carry very modern-looking paper lanterns – here translated into the modern medium of black-and-white plastic with battery-powered lighting. The caps are quite unusual-looking for Japanese costume; I don’t know of any precedents. I wonder if this costume (among others at this event) is an entirely contemporary design in order to attract young people to the old art of folk dancing.

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Dance marshalls bore large yuzen-made square flag banners (lots of American flag-type twirling). Modern recorded music, a cross
between disco, string orchestra and aerobic dance music.

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