Shonan Yosakoi Festival in Hiratsuka
What's printed on the sheet is the name of our group "Hibiki" which means "Echo" and the name of our 2012 choreography "Furanbou" which I have no idea how to translate correctly. The single parts mean "happiness" "chaos" and "dance" :3

...I don't know if I ever mentioned this on this blog, but I am doing Yosakoi for the time I am in Japan. Yosakoi is a traditional dance that is unknown even to most Japanese. I accidentally saw a performance of my university's Yosakoi dance club and joined them one day after since I was totally amazed by the whole atmosphere and structure of the dance. I have always been dancing and I just love it. I am not a great talent, but who cares! :D

Yosakoi is a dance for the masses. It's a mostly simple dance that can be danced by nearly everyone which is the aim of Yosakoi: to dance with as many people as possible. There are festivals where more than a thousand people are dancing the same dance, it's awesome! Therefore there are no real difficult choreographies in that dance. I love it for its very traditional atmosphere, the use of Naruko (the little red thing I am holding in the picture with which you clap :3) and of course the clothes!! Every team has their unique and very own costume which changes every year. AND I FREAKING LOVE OUR 2012 COSTUME!! I saw the ones before, they were really simple and not nearly as awesome as the actual one (they were orange/dark blue 2010 and light blue/white in 2011 with no accessoires, Obi (the purple thing which is wrapped around my chest!) or such.) Therefore I'm really thankful we have such a great outfit this year. I love red/white/black combinations, I freaking love purple and the Japanese pattern! ♥ ♥ ♥

The outfit, our music and our choreography was all made up by some people of our dance group which I found really great. The girl who was responsible for the clothes designed like no tomorrow! I liked the 2011 choreography a bit more since it was a really strong, powerful dance. This year's is more slow and a lot more simple compared to the other dances they have done over the years. Nonetheless I like to dance with everybody together! So there was this festival held in Hiratsuka, which is half an hour away from our university. It was also the first time for me ever to see other Yosakoi teams! The atmosphere was great, I really had a great time. There were two performances; the stage performance, and the nagashi performance. At the latter you dance while walking along a long road and performing until the road is at it's end. I guess you could call it a parade? This was extremely exhausting, we danced for 15 minutes nonstop!! :3

Waiting for the Nagashi to start! :D
 This was my first and sadly also my last Yosakoi festival. All festivals are held in August  + September, sadly I'll leave Japan before the next festival is held!! Although maybe it's better this way since it will be extremely hot and I guess I'll just melt away with the costume.. some pictures of the day:

Keep on reading for more pictures and video!

Together with Yumi ♥

All female members! :D We are more than 30 together with our male counterparts!

With Se-chan (who just entered but did the whole dance!), Musashi (who's a natural) and Tomo-kun!

With Yumi, Shiki, Pe-chan and Wajimu right before starting the first performance!

The whole Team! <3

With Angel right in front of the Seven Eleven. See how short she is??!? XD And SHE trained ME, can you imagine how I felt? Like a fucking' elephant, I tell you. I'm a third longer than her XD She's Chinese and studied abroad like me but now she lives here for more than 4 years :3 Oh and we have the same flower in our hair by coincidence ^-^
Soo what can I say.. it was such an awesome day, this is the only thing why I don't wanna leave Japan. I love my dance group, there are really only great people in it. They helped me a lot through this year abroad I really cry when I think of the day I have to leave them (;_________;) I nearly cried today when some of them came and were like "Ohh only 10 more weeks and then you're gone! We'll be so sad when you'll go!!" I think I will cry a whole ocean on my last day of training. Pachi even took videos and tried to catch as many as she could although she is extremely sick since a week! >< I felt so bad for her, she was 6 hours there with me :/ I was so happy that she came to watch my performance, she really knows how important that day was for me! Even our janitor from the dorm came, I was so happy to see her! She's one of the most kind person I have ever met ;_; I guess I'll never forget that experience and how happy I was. I'm really not a good dancer but since you saw all the pictures I guess you might be interested in the actual dance and how Yosakoi dancing looks like, so here you go! Please don't judge, Pachi got close-ups of all my failures.. XD"  Doesn't matter! Had fun!

First half are parts of the parade Pachi caught! Starting 3:50 you can see the "normal" performance from beginning until the end! :3

I'm really happy got all this and stayed the whole day, I can watch it from time to time when I'm home and not able to see them anymore >< I'm a terrible collector of memories, I have to collect everything via taking pictures, videos, purikura..... speaking of! No memoirable day without taking some purikura! We are way too many for the machine so I just went with Pachi <:

...everybody who saw us stared at us xD I mean, we are very stared at at a normal day since we are really eyecatching with our height which is a lot more than the average Japanese, our haircolors and piercings. It's really not possible to be invisible here. With the Yosakoi costume we were kinda the hotspot of the whole town, lol! At least it felt like it.

I will carry all these memories with me all day, I feel super happy when recollecting the whole day. I guess it really was an impressive experience for me so far. Thought some culture would be good for this blog! :3 Coming back to reviews next week. Hope everybody has a great day!

Until next time,

- Sam.

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