Tag Archives: Festival

[Blog] 18th of June


2016-06-18 13.39.17Today Oushou and Peanuts met with Ikeda-san and Sugimoto-san from Kouchi prefectures tourism department. They came all the way from Japan to meet with us and take about a future project Zyka is participating in.

Kouchi is working hard to spread yosakoi across the world and as all of us in Zyka love yosakoi this is of course something we want to support and participate in!

White it is still too early to reveal all that much about the project Zyka is very happy to get a chance to participate and we work hard to spread yosakoi in Sweden and the rest of Europe.

More news about the project we are participating will come, so keep and eye out for that!

Thank you Ikeda-san and Sugimoto-san for coming all the way to see us. We look forward to meeting you again.

You can follow their work on their facebook page.

– 王将





A bit late of an update but…

On the 17th and 18th of October the long-awaited YEN camp took place in Trosa in Sweden, and with that came the YEN Mini Yosakoi Festival that was held on the 18th.

The festival was held in Folkets hus in Trosa. When the guests arrived they could enjoy both yosakoi photos exhibited on the walls and some Japanese festival snacks. The tickets and snacks was handled by our beautiful staff, many thanks to you! The guests also had the chance to speak to the dancers who were out mingling before the dancing started Many took the chance to ask about the dance and the different teams there.

(All the beautiful photos in this post is taken by Tomoya Suzuki)

Manager-san selling Japanese snacks to the guests. Photo by Tomoya Suzuki


Naruko from different teams (both present and not present) on display. Photo by Tomoya Suzuki

And then it was time for the main event, dancing! Zyka started out by presenting Bankuramou for the first time ever. We were all nervous but the audience enjoyed it so that’s all good.


Bankuramou with Zyka. Photo by Tomoya Suzuki.

After that followed a mix of sou-odoris, danced by all teams together, and team performances, with just one team.



Sou-odori. Photo by Tomoya Suzuki

It was an exciting day with lots and lots of fun. While it was a bit tiring dancing so many dances at the same event we got a lot of energy from each other and the audience. It was a great experience to dance so many dancers together, and all with different styles. Some of Zyka’s members experienced a larger team during the Japan project but even then the different languages hindered communication for many. And our new members had never experienced any other team then Zyka before the meet-up. So it was an important, and fun, experience for all of us which we hope to repeat again.


All of the dancers. Photo by Tomoya Suzuki

Where will the next meet-up be? We are already looking forward to it!

YEN meet-up and Europe’s first Yosakoi Festival!


On the 17-18th of October YEN will hold the second meet-up, this time hosted by Zyka in Trosa. For two days we will dance, talk yosakoi and have fun together. It has been half a year since the first meet-up and those of us who participated then are exited to meet each other again, and for the rest excited to finally meet more yosakoi loving people.

The meet-up will also bring Europe’s first Yosakoi festival, YEN Mini Yosakoi Festival, which will take place in Trosa on the 18th of October. This will be a unique chance to see the yosakoi teams from Europe and experience many different kinds of yosakoi! Three of the European teams will take part in the meet-up and the festival, Raiden yosakoi, Yosakoi Hinodemai Paris and Sakuramai Poland. We will both perform together and as teams.

And most of all, for Zyka the festival will be the first time we present our new dance Bankuramou! Don’t miss it!


The festival will take place at Folkets Hus Trosa on the 18th of October 12.00 o’clock.
100kr for and adult50kr for children up to 12.

You can either buy tickets at the book-store in Trosa or here.

Find out more about the festival on the facebook event!

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!



[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.



[Blog] 4th of August – Uraja


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


Trying out our new flags


– マネージャーさん