Category Archives: Japan!

Performances in Kouchi! The (almost) complete collection


This is a collection of videos of our performances in Kouchi this summer. It is not every performance we did but there is at least one video from most of of them. They are recorded by various people, both within Zyka and people in the audience. As we most of the time danced three to six times during one parade performance we have included multiple videos from the same stage.

If you want to see photos from the trip you can find them here and here.

First Day

Mama Contest Stage – 万々競演場 Zyka Yosakoi’s recordings
First time

Second time

Third time

Saenba Contest Stage – 菜園場競演場
Recording by kiku0456

Outesuji Main Contest Stage South Side – 追手筋本部競演場 南側
Recording by ザ・よさこい祭り


Second Day

Masugatachiiki Contest Stage – 升形商店街競演場
Zyka Yosakoi’s recording

Recording by よさこいブロードキャスター Supi

Recording by まちこ町子

Recording by kojikojihacojicoji

Obiyamachi Performance Stage – 帯屋筋演舞場
Recording by uun095221

Central Park Contest Stage – 中央公園競演場
Zyka Yosakoi’s recording

Recording by kazehikitanuki

Central Kouchi Castle Stage – 高地城演舞場
Zyka Yosakoi’s recording

Two of our performances in Kouchi!


We have now uploaded to videos of our performances in Kouchi this summer. Both of them are taken from on top of a truck which is way they are a bit shaky, but the view is good so please take a look if you have time!

Second day, first parade


Second day, first stage

A big, big thank you!


There are many people whom we want to thank for making the Japan project possible and for helping out in different sorts of ways. In no order of relevance:

  • Folk Bernadottes Minnesfond for giving us a grant that made it possible for us to go. Without that it would have been much much harder to do this. Thank you.
  • Mr. Nishimori who sent a bus to pick us up when we got stuck in Okayama, gather money to help us, gave us fruits and drinks, called to make sure things were going alright, took us out both for dinner and lunch as well as gave us the chance to meet the Governor. We are very thankful for the continued support you showed us. Thank you for all you did for us.
  • Kōchi University and the staff there for giving us a place to stay, a practice room and somewhere to do the decorations for the truck. Thank you.
  • Sesshu and his father Mr. Iba for inviting us to do this and for being the spiders in the net that held it all together. Thank you for all that and for dancing together with us.
  • Professor Kikuchi for supporting us in many different ways. Thank you for coming to see us perform and thank you for going as far as searching for us on the station to be able to send us of when we left Kōchi.
  • The students in the International Tea group at Kōchi University who helped with the decorations for the truck, danced with us and worked as staff during the festival days. Without you the truck would never have been done in time, thank you.
  • Mr. Mitsuo who both came to visit us in Sweden and came to see us in Kōchi. Thank you for all you support.
  • Mr. Masukawa who was in-charge of the truck and also meet up with some of our members in Tokyo after the festival. Thank you for doing this with us.
  • Manger-san who came with us as staff and carried our things, took care of us, supported us, gave us water, as well as many other things. Having you with us was a great help, thank you.
  • Satsui who came with us to document the project with photos. Thank you for keeping up with the craziness Zyka can be and for sharing this experience with us. We all look forward to see the photos and are very grateful you came with us.
  • Professor Morimoto, Ambassador of Japan in Sweden, for taking interest in our project and supporting us. Thank you.
  • Celia, vice store manager at the Honiya store, Kunpei Izumi, dancer and designer in Honiya, and Mayumi Izumi, store manager at the Honiya Store, for taking the time to talk to us and for all the gifts. We were very happy to meet you and to see Honiya perform, thank you.
  • Order Yosakoi-ya for the original bag we received with the flags we ordered. Both the flags and the bag were beautiful, thank you.
  • All the dancers that participated with us, without you it wouldn’t have been the same. Thank you for dancing Hatsuyuki with us and for making this an unforgettable memory.
  • Mr. Ozaki, governor of Kouchi prefecture, for taking interest in us and taking the time to meet us. We were very honoured, thank you.
  • Mr. Fukuda, leader of Trump, for doing this project together with us. We are very happy we could do it together with you and your dancers, thank you.
  • Everyone back home, and in other places, who cheered us on, took interest in us and supported us. Thank you.
  • The open team Uraja tamashii for letting us participate with them in the Uraja festival in Okayama. We had great fun, thank you.
  • Shou and Maru, who were in-charge of the big flag, for participating with us. The big flag was really cool, thank you for giving Hatsuyuki an extra level.
  • The audience in both Okayama and Kōchi who cheered for us and made us feel welcome. Thanks for making this so special for us.
  • Everyone else who have supported us in small and big ways. Thank you.

If someone is not mentioned be sure it is not because we aren’t grateful. There are simply so many people who have helped us with this project it would be impossible to mention them all by name. We are very thankful for all the help and support we have received. Thank you.

And lastly, as the leader of Zyka Yosakoi I would like to say a big thank you to all of our members for participating in this. Peanuts, Komachi, Iruka? WHOlock, Park, Amigu and Guntai. Thank you for doing this with me. Thank you for all the hours you’ve spent practising in the cold and late at night, thank you for helping out with all the other preparations for it, for going even though much spoke against it like lack of money, finals at University, other trips and lack of time. Thank you for without complaining working to make this the best trip possible, for enduring the confusion and unexpected changes in the schedule, for doing your best to interact and get to know the Japanese dancers and staff even though most of you didn’t speak the same language. Thanks to all of you and your efforts the days in Japan went much smoother than I could ever have imagined. I am so proud of us for doing this, so proud of you for doing this, for making it this far, and I hope you, just like me, will treasure the memories we have created together. We are the best! Love you all.


– Oushou



The Japan trip in photos – part 2


The rest of the photos from Japan. Going from the first day of the festival until the return to Sweden. If you want to see the photos from the first part of the trip click here.


Morning of the 10th of August, the first day of the festival, was busy with preparations. Here Park getting her hair done.

And here it is done!

Some members of the International tea-group at Kouchi University helped out as staff during the festival.

Park and Guntai in the bus, waiting for our first performance.

WHOlock in the bus with one of our flags on her shoulder.

Guntai and Sesshu.

Park and Guntai.

Group shot with two of the girls in Trump.

First time seeing the finished truck carrying our speakers, drinks, Satsui as well as lots of other stuff.

Tanuki, one of our older dancers.

The first parade!

Peanuts and Oushou during a radio interview they did.

Second parade!

Some of our dancers waiting for it to be our turn to dance.


Guntai during stage practice.

WHOlock, Iruka?, Park and Guntai.

Zyka’s oldest and youngest members, Komachi and Iruka?, in the bus between two parades.

Zyka’s first members, Peanuts and Oushou, in the bus.

Our badass members, Park and Guntai, in the bus.

Our best flag-team, WHOlock and Amigu, in the bus.

Sesshu and our wonderful staff, Manager-san and Satsui, in the bus.

Mendel, our guest dancer from Zaccu Baran.

The storm winds are building up.

The humans fighting against the forces of nature.

Amigu and Park waiting for the next parade to start.

Nacchan, the youngest participant in our group, and Lee-san, a Korean exchange student.

Iruka? and Guntai.

Katsuta, Shou, Hikaru, Mendel and Maru. Shou and Maru where in-charge of the big flag in the back of the parade.

Manager-san, who carried our things and made sure we got enough water even if it meant she had to fight for it.

Second day of the festival, here the students from Kouchi University who danced with us and helped out as staff.

Katsuta with a cicada he caught.

Not quite sure cicadas are meant for eating.

Time for live MC! Here Oushou on top of the truck.

Ready to start.

Park went with spikes in her hair for the second day.


Peanuts getting interviewed by TV.

Amigu and WHOlock running for the jump as the storm begins.

You can never take too many group shots in Japan.

And another one.

Komachi was photographed for her costume, we think, while standing on a thing that turned around so they could take photos from all angels.

Oushou in front of the truck before the first stage performance.

You can dance yosakoi no matter what age you are. Here some children from a team we passed by on the street.

Zyka during a break, in search of food.

Parade with Kouchi castle in the background.

Oushou and Guntai with two of the girls from Trump.

Probably the shortest parade we did, and the only one we did in a circle.

At one place we were suddenly informed that we could only dance in two lines instead of the four we usually do. Somehow we managed to do it even if we were unprepared.

Our last parade in the festival, though we didn’t know it at the time.

Along the streets people were sitting eating their dinner while watching.

Oushou with two of the younger girls in Trump while waiting for the bus to arrive.

And of course, a group shot.

On the 12th our part of the festival was over so we spent the day watching other teams perform. Park meet a dancer with almost the same hairstyle as she had the previous day. Later on we also went to see him perform.

It took some running but some of us managed to see Honiya perform on the main parade stage.

Kunpei Izumi, whom we had the chance to greet at the Honiya store noticed us in the audience. We were very happy to get a chance to see him, and the rest of Honiya, perform live.

Some of the dancers in Honiya.

Honiya is one of the best teams in Kouchi and as expected their performance was really good.

Torukku, another really good team we saw.

One of the teams had a very small flag dancer. He was very cute, very serious in his dancing.

in the evening it was at last time to break up the group as we went of in different directions. Kikuchi-sensei, a professor from Kouchi University who helped us a lot, came to send us of.

And with one last group shot we officially closed Zyka’s part of the Japan trip. The organisers, here in the front line holding blue cards, received thank you cards with amazing drawings in them from the others.

While one group headed to Tokyo the rest remained for some more hours. Here Komachi, Guntai, Peanuts and WHOlock on Harimaya bridge, a bridge voted to one of the most disappointing bridges in Japan.

WHOlock, and Sesshu, took part in a performance called “Minna de yosakoi project” with dancers from many different teams. Iruka? and Oushou were supposed to take part as well but as the performance was moved due to the typhoon they weren’t able to.

On the 18th of August all except Guntai and Peanuts, meet up in Osaka to head home. But before going to the airport we went to Sweets paradise, a cake buffet. Here WHOlock and Satsui.

Iruka? resting for a bit after eating.

Komachi enjoying some soft ice cream.

And of course you can leave Japan without doing Purikura, photo boots where you get to decorate the photos. Here Oushou, Iruka?, WHOlock and Komachi.

It can be quite fun.

Iruka? helping Park and Amigu with their nail-painting while waiting for it to be time to go to the airport.

The view from Osaka station just was we were about to leave.

And finally, back in Sweden. And without loosing any of our luggage as well!



The Japan trip in photos – part 1


There is much to tell about our time in Japan. It was fun, tiring, chaotic, fantastic, wet, unbelievable, thrilling, hot, exhausting and just so many other things. At some point, preferably soon, we will try to write about it but at the moment I think we’ll let the photos speak. Due to lack of internet we couldn’t upload many while away and so, now that we are back home again, here you go, Japan in photos.

Photo exhibition at Arlanda Airport.

Häggsson sisters at Dubai Airport

Transferring in Dubai.

Tired Satsui

In Japan at last! Group shot with Sesshu

Iruka? and Guntai at Osaka International Airport

Sightseeing in Okayama and Kurashiki

Iruka?, Guntai and WHOlock at the train station

Amigu and Park on the train

Zyka’s first karaoke!

We met up with Basho, one of our old members who is now working in Okayama! Here with Oushou and WHOlock.

Dinner together with Sesshu and his father Tanuki. Here with Oushou and WHOlock.

A rainy visit to Korakuen, one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens, together with Sesshu and his father Tanuki.

And then it was time for watching the performances!

At the Uraja festival in Okayama face-paintings are very important. And of course, smiling as well!

Dancers at Uraja festival in Okayama

Dancers at Uraja festival in Okayama.

In the evening we watched the big firework show, and did an interview for Yomiuri Shimbun on the same time.

More fireworks!

And the next day it was time for us to dance, not as Zyka but as a part of an open team. Here WHOlock and Oushou during dinner break

Sesshu and his father during dinner break.

It rained a lot in Okayama. Here Guntai and Komachi seeking cover for a bit.

And then we were supposed to leave for Kouchi, except all trains and buses were cancelled due to the typhoon. So we stayed in Okayama and practised.

Oushou inspecting the others dancing.

We got to try our new flags for the first time! In the background you can see Okayama castle.

Two days after we originally planned we could finally leave for Kouchi.

We took the train half way were a bus came and picked us up. Here the Häggsson sisters waiting for the bus to arrive.

Oushou with the bus that came to pick us up. It had our name on it! Many thanks to Mr. Nishimori for arranging it.

The road to Kouchi, it rained a lot during some parts.

Once in Kouchi we started of with practice, this time together with the two students of Kouchi University who were to dance with us at the festival.

And during whatever spare time we had we fixed the last bits of our costumes. Even though we had the actual costumes order made there were still some things that needed to be fixed.

In Kouchi we were treated with dinner by Mr. Nishimori. It was a fantastic dinner and we all received beautiful coral bracelets, one of Kouchi’s specialities.

The next day we had the chance to meet the Governor of Kouchi prefecture. Here together with Sanomiya and Sesshu waiting for the taxis coming to collect us.

When we arrived we were greeted with this banner, we felt almost like some sort of stars.

Together with the Governor (middle of the front row), Mr. Nishimori (middle of the back row) and two professors of Kouchi University (to the right of the Governor).

Beside the glamorous stuff we also had a truck to decorate for the parade. Here Iruka? and Satsui paining Midwinter.

Peanuts and Amigu doing the team logo.

There was an article about us in the local newspaper on day.

Sanomiya together with Amigu, sawing, and Park, holding the umbrella.

Satsui doing the details on Springtime.

We ate most of our meals in the University cafeteria.

WHOlock and Amigu, our first flag team, practising with the flags.

Katsuta, a student of Kouchi University who helped with the painting as well as danced with us during the festival.

When the painting was done we went for some sightseeing in Kouchi together with some of students of Kouchi University. Here Oushou in front of the Yosakoi shrine, praying for the rain to stop.

Back at the University Sesshu and Katsuta were working on putting the different parts of the trucks decorations together.

Like this! Here is the first parts of First Snow and Midwinter put together.

Some parts of First Snow and Midwinter put together in the front with Springtime in the back of the photo.

Iruka? and Guntai inspecting the progress with Sesshu in the back.

Kouchi is really a Yosakoi city, there are even the image of Naruko in the pavement!

Sceptical Guntai in the house we stayed in at Kouchi University.

Of course we trained as well. The University were kind enough to let us use a practice room so we could practice even when it was heavy rain.

On the 9th of August the dancers from Trump arrived. During lunch some of us went to the Honiya store in the arcade where we were lucky enough to get to speak with the store’s vice store manager! She is a very kind and nice person whom we hope to meet again.

Oushou and Peanuts together with Kunpei Izumi, designer in Honiya, at the Honiya store. We were very honoured to be able to greet members of such a famous team. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us!

Mendel, Iruka?, WHOlock, Oushou, Peanuts and Maru at the Honiya store. We also got the chance to met Mayumi Izumi, the store manager.

Japan för hemsidan (127)

We received T-shirts, pretty paper bags and booklets from the movie “You Dance With the Summer”, in which Honiya participates, at the store. As we are all big fans of both the movie and of Honiya it made us very happy!

To be continued!

[Blog] 9th of August


The other team which we are dancing together with travelled with bus from Tokyo during the night. We were worried that the typhoon would stop them, but they arrived to Kochi at lunch on Saturday the 9th of August.
We left the university for a hotel in Kochi, Trump, the other team fetched us with their bus and we had a nice lunch at the food market.


Lunch at Hirome-ichiba

After checking in we had dinner all together, a real Japanese dinner. The team Trump has members of all ages, around 30 persons, really nice to meet them finally. The collaboration started in winter and there has been a lot of conversation on internet, but it is always nicer to meet people in person.

Then the first practice together! It’s fascinating that it is possible being two teams on different sides of the planet making a dance together, and then meet and realise that works!

Now we only hope for the festival. We have heard that they will decide tomorrow morning if it will be cancelled or not. The highway is closed and the train isn’t running. The typhoon is now expected sometime in the night. We will see in the morning!



[Blog] 8th of August


Practice in the morning as usual on the 8th of August. The plan for this day was to have a bit of sightseeing. Depending of the heavy raining people meant it was dangerous to go to some of the places we had hoped to, the famous bridge from the yosakoi movie for example. But we had lunch together with people from the university, teachers, students and also two Swedish students from Gothenburg. We got a lunch box, a kind of bento, with a lot of different Japanese food which we all liked.


Heavy rain at the yosakoi shrine

And then we went sightseeing in Kochi. Four students guided us. We took the tram to the city centre and visited Kochi castle and we also visited the shrine of the God of yosakoi to ask for the festival to happen and the rain to stop. It was raining heavily so strolling around in the “shoutengai”, a shopping street with roof, were appreciated. The highlight of this street was the visit at the Honiya shop. Honiya is one of the best teams in Japan and are based in Kochi. They are also the team dancing in the movie we had watched, “Kimi ga oduro natsu” (You Dance With the Summer). In the shop we could watch a lot of the costumes from the movie and a lot of photos. You could also buy a lot of things connected with yosakoi. We spent a lot of time here.


Oushou at the yosakoi shrine

Finishing the day at the food market was nice. You could buy different food in the stand around. Some of us tried the fish speciality from Kochi, a kind of tuna which are a little grilled and cut in slices. It was served on a bowl with rice. A dish we could have again!


Hirome-ichiba, the food market in Kochi

The Japanese girls got an SMS that everyone were expected to start going home because of the typhoon. It was expected to arrive in the night. They described it as if it came you wouldn’t be able to go outside. We went home, had a nice evening with games and Japanese bath. We all hoped the typhoon to come quickly so it would pass quickly. But when we woke up next morning it hadn’t arrived yet.



[Blog] 7th of August


We have borrowed a hall for dancing every morning which we are very grateful for, due to the heavy raining all the time. Thursday the 7th of August started with practise, after lunch in the university restaurant we finished the signs for the lorry. They are saying in Swedish: Tillsammans dansar de alla i virvlande nysnö. One sign for the left side and one for the right side. We had an interesting discussion, because on the lorrys in a yosakoi parade you are meant to read the words from the front of the car which means that on the left side you have the word backwards. We saw the text, but it looked so weird reading it backwards. It took some time convincing the Japanese we are working with to have it possible to read from left to right. Even if very few can read it here.


Satsui finishing the details on Springtime


Amigu sawing while Park holds the umbrella. Yui Sannomiya who helped us in Kōchi in the front.

There are a lot of work putting everything together. It is a complicated construction with to pictures on each side, one to see when you are in the front of the car and one when you are behind. We could help a little with sawing, but building is work for men in Japan. Girls and women are not allowed to participate. On the other hand while the guys worked until two o’clock in the morning we had a quite early evening with time for games and chat.


Part of First snow and Midwinter put together


WHOlock and Amigu practicing

And the rain and the weather …

All the time we are wondering about the weather, waiting for a typhoon to come. The festival was supposed to start at Saturday evening with an opening ceremony, but it is cancelled. The festival though had been held 60 times and never been cancelled, so we hope.



[Blog] 6th of August


Wednesday 6th of August started with breakfast at the university restaurant, breakfast in a Japanese way. Then we prepared for the paintings meant to be on the lorry.


Ready to meet the governor

Ten twenty we were fetched with cars, going to Kōchi Prefecture Office to meet the governor. We were met with a big banner saying Welcome to Kōchi! Standing at the stair taking photos with a lot official people we felt like celebrities. We met the politician from yesterdays dinner and sat down in a conference room and then the governor entered. There were a conversation about yosakoi, Zyka and Sweden. The governor were glad to have a yosakoi team from as far away as Sweden in the festival and hoped us to have a good time in Kōchi.   


Meeting with the governor, who is in the middle of the front row with two teachers from Kōchi University to the right. In the middle of the back row is Mr. Nishimori.

We were shown around in the building and visited the chamber and were allowed to try the chairman’s chair!

Shiozo Nishimori, the politician showed his place in the chamber. They have a system so the new members of the chamber are in first row, but since he been there so many year his place was in the last row.

Back at the university area, after having a nice Japanese lunch in the university restaurant, we started the painting for the lorry. We have prepared pictures illustrating the different parts of the concept, First snow, Storm, Midwinter and Springtime. They are meant to be at the lorry driving in front of us, having the music and the MC.We had good help from the Japanese group at the university who also prepared the boards by painting them white. We also had very good help by Satsui who came up with the idea having a projector to see the prepared picture on the board. Then everything went very smoothly and we worked until ten in evening doing almost three days work in one.


Satsui, Amigu and Park doing the base sketching for the painting


Iruka? in the front and Satsui in the back paining on Midwinter



[Blog] 5th of August – Kōchi!


We went to bed without knowing when to rise in the morning. Maybe at six o’clock, otherwise at nine o’clock. Sesshu called in the morning to say that still no trains or buses were leaving. We decided to practice so everyone were ready for practice and checked out at ten. Then we got new information, if we quickly took a train from Okayama to a smaller town there would be a bus coming to fetch us and take us to Kōchi. We were very happy, the festival was approaching! We are really grateful for all people helping us.


Manager-san, WHOlock, Iruka?, Guntai and Peanuts in front of the bus

The view during the bus trip was fantastic, high mountains covered with trees and valleys with streams of water. High bridges over the sea and small islands. A fascinating landscape.

So, Tuesday afternoon we finally arrived at the university and meet a lot of kind Japanese people helping with this exchange, showing us where to sleep and eat and a lot other stuff.

The practice for Tuesday happened at the university area in Kōchi and when practising it didn’t rain!


The first practice in Kōchi

Practice got a quick ending when things for the lorry arrived and needed to be carried. Everything are happening in a hurry, after this were 15 minutes for taking showers and then three taxis arrived taking us to the city centre. The taxi stopped at a hotel where we were told the emperor stays when he visits Kōchi.

We were invited to dinner with Shiozo Nishimori from the Kōchi Prefectural assembly and Keisuke Yamasaki from Rotary. It was a traditional Japanese dinner with several small dishes, new tastes for many of us. Before sleep in a club house at the university everyone got their new costumes for the festival, so beautiful! We sleep this night the Japanese way on tatami mats and futons.