Tag Archives: Uraja

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.

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] 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?