Dance costume (2) – Bon odori

October 11, 2009


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.


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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