「築地の盆踊り」Bon Odori in Tsukiji

「築地の盆踊り」Bon Odori in Tsukiji

A week ago I went to a Bon Odori (Bon Dance) for the first time.
Those traditional bon dance festivals are basically held in all bigger neighbourhoods, but I really wanted to see a big one, so I picked out the Tsukiji one in Tokyo.

始めて盆踊りに行ってきました。
日本へ引っ越してきてから5年以上経ちましたが、盆踊りに参加したことないです。ありえないでしょう?
盆踊りは何処にもあるはずですが、大きい祭りをみたいと思って築地の盆踊りを選んでみました。

Bon Odori Tokyo

I arrived a little before the scheduled start of the shows and dance but there were already quite some people enjoying a nice summer day with family and friends, munching away on the matsuri (festival) food stalls.

少し早めに行って、太鼓のショーを見ることはできました。

Bon Odori Tokyo

After a quick walk around the lovely decorated dance stage/scaffold called “yagura” I watched a group of students showing a taiko (Japanese drum) performance.

Bon Odori Tokyo

Bon Odori Tokyo

Right afterwards the music started and invited bystanders to join the actual bon dance.
The rules are quite simple actually – the dance either proceeds in clockwise or counter-clockwise manner and the movements can be copied from the people dancing in front of you or the dancer on the stage.
These traditional songs are called “Ondo” and each region has its own songs and dances, making the name for example “Tokyo-ondo”.

6時から盆踊りはスタート!
まだ人数は少ないでしたね。

Bon Odori Tokyo

Bon Odori Tokyo

I actually made a video of the bon odori, because it’s so enjoyable!
盆踊りの動画も作ってみました。大したことないですが、特に海外の方に見せたいと思います。

Preferably you dance in yukata (a cotton kimono). I was not planning to dance, because I am not a good dancer and also easily embarrassed when making mistakes, but the more I watched the more I wanted to join.
As a Japanese you probably learn the dance in school, but I have never danced in a Japanese way, so I was super nervous..

日本人は学校で盆踊りを並ぶでしょうか?
ダンズが下手な私は意外と緊張しまして、踊るつもりなかったですが・・目の前に皆が楽しく踊ってて私も踊りたくなりました。(笑)

Bon Odori Tokyo

However I gave it a try and IT’S SO MUCH FUN!!
Probably I got like 80% of the movements wrong but nobody cares and people just want to have a great time, so I wasn’t ashamed much either.

恥ずかしながら踊ってみたら・・ちょう楽しかったです!何これ!!
動きの80%は間違ってたと思うけど、楽しくてたまらなかった〜〜☆

The later it got the more people joined, it was hot and the sweat ran down my back. The drums, the cicadas noise, yukata and glowing lanterns – ultimate summer feels!

夏の気分たっぷりでした!

Bon Odori Tokyo

Bon Odori Tokyo

Bon Odori Tokyo

Bon Odori Tokyo

Bon Odori Tokyo

When it got late I didn’t want to go home!! But I will be surely joining more bon festivals next year!
楽しすぎて帰りたくなかったです。来年は絶対にまた盆踊り参加したいと思います。
その前は少し連絡した方がいいかもしれません。(笑)
「炭坑節」にハマりすぎて今でもたまに聞いてます。

If you live in the US or elsewhere have a look – some countries/areas actually organise bon dance festivals in overseas.

ここまで読んで頂いてありがとうございます。
Thanks for reading,
Anji

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