Category Archives: Japan!

[Blog] 4th of August – Uraja

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Monday 4th of August started early. We were ready at a quarter past six at the hotel lobby for departure to Kōchi. But because of the weather, typhoons, rain, flood and closed roads the bus was cancelled.

Our Japanese dancer and collaborator went to the bus station to change the tickets to an evening bus, the others could go to bed again until time for check out.

Everyone were quite tired after the weekend, but also happy after having experienced a real Japanese festival. In Okayama you dance Uraja which means demon. There are two important persons, Momotaro, The Peach Boy and Uraja, The Demon who you can see everywhere.You can also see them at the station, one at the front and the other at the back, as statues.

The dance Uraja is not the same as yosakoi, but quite similar. Saturday and Sunday you could see a lot of parades. The one we saw went on for four hours and there were around twenty teams participating. In all 144 teams participated in the festival.

We participated in two parades dancing Uraja, and the evening dances but before there were training for everyone, face painting and after we had to do some preparations for Kōchi, so it was a long day.

The members in Zyka Yosakoi get a lot of attention, both as viewers and as dancers. Everyone think it’s cool with a Swedish team, that we dance yosakoi and that we are going to Kōchi to dance.

Anyone who doesn’t like photos are now used to it. They take photos with and without the Japanese and us, we have been in the news at TV and as well as interviewed for two newspapers. And the Yosakoi-festival haven’t even started yet.

Not only the dance is important, there are also rules about how to behave. The teams are quite big and the team walks in a row when moving not to block the way. You always greet the other teams with a Japanese word that means good working, you smile, you are in time.

And in the evening Monday we are still in Okayama. Today there have not been a bus or a train for Kōchi. Half past seven when our bus ought to leave the roads were still closed and in Kōchi it was raining heavily.

So this afternoon have been spent along the river Asahi with the Okayama castle behind doing practise for the parade in Kōchi and trying the new flags.

This night we will spend at the same hotel as earlier hoping for the rain in  Kōchi to stop and our bus to leave in the morning. There are a lot of work waiting for us in  Kōchi before the festival!

 

Practising in Okayama

Practice in Okayama

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Trying out our new flags

 

– マネージャーさん

Manager-san

[Blog] 2th of August 2014

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We have now been in Japan for two full days. The schedule has been full since our arrival on the 31th of July so in the evening we are all rather tired. But it has so far been fun days with lots of things to see and do. Yesterday, on the 1th, we did some sightseeing, like visiting Kurashiki, an old village near by here. And we went to karaoke!

 

Today it was time for one of the main events of this trips, the Uraja festival! We spent most of the day watching different teams taking part in the parade. In the evening we saw fireworks at the river here in Okayama. It was very crowded but the fireworks were beautiful and there were lots of tasty festival food to try.

 

And tomorrow it is time for yet anther big event in this trip, we are participating in on of the parade. Not as Zyka but in an open group that performs the official Uraja dance. Only 80 people can take part though so we need to get up bright and early to be there in time! And now, time to sleep. Good night everyone.

 

P.S. Pictures will come as soon as we have the time to upload them! We promise.

– Oushou and Iruka?

 

[Blog] 30th of July 2014

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It is soon time to leave for the airport. The last few days have been a blur of preparation and last-minute practice. All of us are looking forward to finally going and even if it has been, and will be, ups and down we hope it will most of all be lots of fun. We are flying to Osaka via Dubai and will then take a bus to Okayama which is the first leg of our journey. There we will participate in the yearly Uraja festival!

We will do our best to update about what we are up to and how things are going so please look forward to both that and photos in the next few weeks!

– 王将

Oushou

 

行ってきます!! \\(≧▽≦)// Leaving for Japan ~ ♫

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Finally it’s time for Zyka to leave for Japan! We have a total travelling time of 22 hours+ to look forward to….but with all of Zyka travelling together it will hopefully feel like no time at all ^^ Please wish us good luck in Okayama and Kochi!

★ Japan, here we come~~~!!! ★

\\( > ◡ < )//

 

PS. We’re back and welcoming new members in September. Looking forward to meet a lot of new people then! 😉