Tag Archives: Photos

[Blog] Thank you for all this time!

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During Christmas Eve 2011 I was sitting with Peantus in the kitchen in a student dorm in Japan, looking in a dictionary for a good name for the yosakoi team I had convinced her to start with me. And thus Zyka YOSAKOI was born.

2012 – Zyka’s first camp

Over five years has gone since that day and Zyka has gone from four people dancing in my living room, doing our best not to hit to many things in the process, to a team with two original performances, more members, international performances and so much more. Through all of this I have been the leader of Zyka.

2013 – Performance at Ytterjärna Kulturhus

It has been a honour and a joy to see the team grow and the members come to love yosakoi just like I do. It has not always been an easy road, many of us are strong willed, me maybe most of all. But while there of course has been difficult times, fights among the members and opinions that no matter what stay far far apart I honestly believe that the amount of joy and fun we have shared over the years is far more than the amount of sadness, anger and misery we have gone through at times. We have done great things together, and I am sure more great things are waiting for us in the future.

2014 – Zyka in Japan (Photo: Tilda Dalunde)

But five years is a long time and in the beginning of this year I came to the conclusion that it was time for both me and Zyka to move on, and that it wasn’t me who was to take Zyka down the road to the unknown future that awaited us. I love Zyka and always will, but it is time for me to focus on other things and Zyka deserves a leader with full focus on the team. So for that reason the leadership was handed over to WHOlock (Amanda Carleson) who was chosen as the new leader at the team’s annual meeting in spring this year. I ask that you show WHOlock the same support and encouragement that you have shown me through the years.

2015 – Zyka and Sweden Taiko at Etnografiska museet

So at the 22nd of April this year I did my last performance as leader of Zyka at the Cherry blossom festival organised by Stockholm Japanese Society. Zyka performed with Yosakoi Naruko Odori, the first yosakoi dance of them all, as well as a more modern one together with Japanese children who joined us especially for this performance and dancers from the Try Yosakoi Project. It was a great event, and though our practice time together was short the children did their best and we had a great performance together. Many thanks to Stockholm Japanese Society for allowing us to be part of such a great performance!

2016 – Zyka at Stockholm Kulturnatt

And with this my five years as leader of Zyka came to and end. I will of course stay a member of the team and do my best to help Zyka continue to develop best I can. I look forward to what awaits us and where WHOlock as the new leader is going to take the team.

2017 – Zyka at Stockholm Cherry Blossom Festival

Thank you to all members of Zyka, past and present, for allowing me to continue leading the team for so many years and for choosing to be a part of this crazy idea that I convinced Peanuts to make reality of with me back in the winter of 2011. And thank you to all of those who are, or who have been, supporting our team in different ways during this time. I am immensely thankful for all the help and encouragement you have given.

Thank you for all this time!

 

 

– 王将

Oushou

 

Performance at Etnografiska Museet!

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On the 5th of December we did our last performance of the year, this year held at Etnografiska Museet in Stockholm. The performance was done together with Andrew Hickman and Hino Tora Taiko.

All of us had lots of fun and the performance went well. It felt good to end the year with a performance we were so happy with and with such a good audience. We hope that we will get the chance to perform at Etnografiska Museet again soon!

Group shot before the performance

You can find more photos from the performance over at our photo page!

Group shot with Hino Tora Taiko and Andrew Hickman

We now also announce that we once again will participate in Danskarusellen! We are hoping for as much fun as we had last year and looking forward both to seeing all other great dancers and getting to show Bankuramou on a stage. You can find more information about our participation in Danskarusellen here.

Festival!

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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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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All of the dancers. Photo by Tomoya Suzuki

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

[Blog] 21th of June

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Hi everyone, it’s been a while.

We have moved outside again and like the past summer we dance in Humlegården in Stockholm. On sunny days there are a lot a people there, and many people training so it can be a bit crowded at times but we are enjoying it nevertheless. Being outside makes it possible to have longer trainings and the fresh air helps us stay focused. At least most of the time. While the rain can be a bother at times we are over all having great fun.

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Park and Iruka?

The last few weeks we have practices what we call rotation, which means we rotated between the different positions. In Hatsuyuki there are eight different positions and even after learning them it can be hard to keep the sometimes rather small differences in mind when suddenly having to change position. It is hard work learning them properly but knowing all positions helps us keeping track of each other while dancing. Synchronization is something we need to get better on and this is good practice.

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Park, Amo and Shishou

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WHOlock and Iruka?

We have also gained a new member in YEN, the French team Yosakoi Paris Hinodemai that was started just last year and are based in Paris. We are happy that they have joined YEN and hope to see them during the next meet-up, which by the way are planned to happen here in Sweden on the 17 – 18th of October. We are planing on putting up a performance together so keep an eye out for that!

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Yosakoi Paris Hinodemai

 

-王将

Oushou

[Blog] YEN’s first meet-up

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This past weekend we had the first meet-up with YEN, Yosakoi European Network, in Leiden in the Netherlands. Four out of YEN’s five teams participated, sadly the German team Todoroki couldn’t be there. From Zyka WHOlock and I, Oushou, participated. It was an unbelievably fun weekend that we didn’t want to come to an end. For two and a half day we danced, eat, laughed, walked and had fun together.

Leiden is a beautiful city with channels and small cute houses. We arrived in the evening and got to see the waters lit up by the city lights as we walked to our host’s house. The members of Raiden was kind enough to let all of us visiting dancers stay with them, saving us the cost of hotel and also giving us an even better chance of getting to know each other.

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Leiden at night

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Leiden at night

Being so many is a lot different from training just with Zyka, the energy level is nothing alike. All of our teams have different styles, and though we have some dances in common we dance them in different ways.

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All most everyone who participated in the dancing during Saturday

During the meet-up lasted we all got to know each other. Though from different countries and speaking different languages we are united in our love for yosakoi. And maybe our craziness as well.

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And of course a strange-face shot as well

While there simply wasn’t enough time to talk with everyone as much as I would have wished, it feels like I have known the people I did talk to a lot longer than just for a few days.

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Performing for each other is a good opportunity to try other teams costumes

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Group-shot of the leaders of the different teams. To the very right is Jordin, leader of the one man Kyoensodefure team Sairanzensen who also took part in the meet-up

The meet-up was organized by Raiden besides yosakoi also had us discover Leiden together during an exciting scavenger hunt and took us out to try local specialities such as pancakes. They were so big!
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WHOlock found a bunch of other One Piece crazy people and our last night in Leiden was spent discussing and looking at One Piece things, drinking tea and listing to beautiful piano playing.

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The One Piece team with a much admired pop-up book

 

In the autumn we have invited YEN to Stockholm for a second meet-up and before that we have the summer performances we still hope will happen. There is much to look forward to and together I’m sure we will be able to spread yosakoi even more in Europe.

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See you again soon!

– 王将

Oushou

 

[Blog] 17th of January

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It has been a while. Since we last wrote New Year have passed and we are now in year 2015! Happy New Year everyone!

As was written in the last post Zyka ended the year by holding an event called “Saishuuren” to which our closest family and friends were invited. We performed different dances as well as showed slide shows from both our time in Japan and from the years up until now. This Christmas Zyka celebrated three years! Let’s hope our fourth year will bring us even more fun than these past three have! Always moving forward^^

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Saishuuren!

In the beginning of January we participated in the first event of Danskarusellen, a national dance tour Zyka is taking part in. The starting event was called “Katapult” and had all 19 participating teams perform on the same day. It was a long day but also great fun watching everyone else’s performances. There were so many good dancers!

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Iruka? and Peanuts watching performances at Danskarusellen

The event was held at MY-fair at Älvsjömässan in Stockholm so in-between the performances we could look around at the fair and try out different sports. Iruka? and Park tried some aikido, in full costume! Thankfully both them and the costumes came out of it undamaged.

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Iruka? and Park training aikido at the MY fair, just before our performance

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Soon it’s our turn on stage at Danskarusellen!

And we also participated in the celebrations of the Japanese New Year that Japanska Föreningen organised in Rågsved in Stockholm. It was a fun event with many performances of traditional Japanese arts as well as cute children singing “Let it go” from the movie “Frozen”.

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Celebrating the Japanese New Year at Japanska Föreningen’s event

And today we have our annual meeting deciding who will be in charge of what during the coming year. What will the new year have in store for us I wonder? Hopefully lots of fun, for us as well as for everyone else!

– 王将

Oushou

The Japan trip in photos – part 2

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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.

Komachi.

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.

Break-time.

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

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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.

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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!