Summer Festival in Izumisano

Izumisano Summer Festival in Izumisano
August 20, 2016
Suehiro Park

Local gathering in Izumisano – the plan was to break the world record of 3,000 people dancing to the traditional song of Izumisano, Sano Kudoki, while wearing traditional yukata. It wasn’t broken this time?however. This year the number of participants came to about?500.

Totaling sixteen people and representing nine countries, Japanese language learners from ica and members of Kansai International Center, participated in the event. People?from various countries gathered and like good friends, enjoyed informal and carefree conversation.


Speaking true words, the song goes, “The dancers are fools. The watchers are fools. Both are fools…” While the dance appears slow moving and simple, it can be difficult. By?observing?others and paying attention to the timing of the hand claps, the routine can be learned. Everyone works up a good sweat.



●(On the left) Mei, a Philippine native with her two children. She’s been in Japan for seven years but this is the first time she’s worn a yukata. When she finished dancing she was interviewed by NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation). The interview was a great experience.

●(On the right) Nagamu, a Syrian native, selling her handmade work at the ica booth this year. Nishimura, who learned the craft in Turkey, introduced Nagamu?to the craft. Now Nagamu uses the technique to make cute?handmade earrings and accessories.

●Ratna, who was wearing a beautiful green national costume of Bangladesh also enjoyed wearing a yukata.

●Through ica, Yureka from Sri Lanka and Kuwan from Taiwan, recently became?very good friends.?On the day of the event they met at the bus stop in front of Izumisano Station and then arrived at the event together. Japanese, the language they both just started learning, is?their lingua?franca. Chamu, Yureka’s husband, is fluent in Japanese. He entertained people with his funny jokes and engaging conversation topics.

It was a good experience!

It was a very good experience. I was surprised that so many people danced wearing yukata to break the world record. Is Bon Odori related to Buddhism? There are thousands of dances in India too. The way of dancing is different in various ways… It was interesting to meet a lot Japanese people today. I also went fishing for goldfish. Is this a traditional type of game? I caught 25 fish with two paper fishnets. The trick is to use the edge and scoop up quickly. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take the fish home?so I had to return them.
Gautam, India

Bon Odori in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2008

When I was a Japanese teacher in Malaysia in 2008 the Japanese Association in Malaysia asked my school to join in the Bon Odori event. With volunteer students and teachers,?I participated in the event.

We practiced at the Japanese Association building at night. Then, on the day of the dance I made a mistake and wore?a?white pair of shoes instead of a black pair. Despite my teacher status, I had made a mistake and the other ladies pointed it out. Luckily, I was able to?borrow some black shoes and eventually we danced in front of more than fifty audience members, including some VIPs.
(Kadodera / Japanese teacher)