Crazy Video from Matt, and pictures from Yosakoi

Hey guys please check this out! Mad props to Matt for sending it to me. It’s a live performance by Expression Crew out of So Korea. Even though the breakin is at a minimum, I really dig it.

So now to what I really wanted to post about. One of the main reasons that I stayed in Kochi, Japan a few weeks after my contract ended was because I wanted to participate in the biggest festival in Kochi prefecture, Yosakoi. I should know what ‘Yosakoi’ means but I don’t. I hope you can get over that ;-). So every summer, in the second or so-ish week of August(arguably the hottest few days of the year), teams of dancers from all over Kochi, and other prefectures as well come to Kochi City to dance for a few days. What I absolutely loved about it was how the different teams were able to mix modern with traditional; dance styles and music. Some groups threw in Hip Hop, others Reggae, and I even saw one group that had a girl playing electric guitar during the dance. It’s a bit hard to explain to you if you’ve never seen it, so lets look at some pictures whilst I write-speak.

So hopefully this will give you a decent idea of what Yosakoi is all about. A group of 40-50 people in matching costumes, all performing a routine to music that has similar bits but is unique to every group. If I can find some video and a sample of the music I will definitely upload some, because you just can’t get a feel for it without the sound. This was at about 12:30 pm. It didn’t matter what you were wearing, because it was already about 96 degrees.

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This guy really made my day. It was the first performance I saw, and he was smiling like a little kid. So was I, actually, like a kid on Christmas morning. It was such a festive atmosphere; I really loved seeing entire families out enjoying the day. Women were in yukata, men were in Jinbei(myself included), and the vendors were out selling delicious food and drink.

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You gotta respect the Jisan’s(Old guys) out with their billion dollar cameras. Seriously, some of the lenses these guys brought out would’ve costed me two month’s salary, easy. Perhaps one day…
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A teen girls group representing one of the local grocery store chains, Sunny Axix/Mart

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Ok, location change. After baking out on the open street for about half an hour, Gabe and I met up with some friends to see our other friend dance(forgot here name!). Unfortunately, you can’t see her in any of the shots that I took but she did a great job. This was one of the better groups of the day. They really set the tone from the beginning.

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Look familiar? This is where we started, although now it’s about 4:30. Somehow I’ve still got energy. I gave it up to this group b/c their routine had a lot of running and jumping in it. That’s one routine every 7-10 minutes, for 8 hours, for two days. Yes. Yes, indeed.

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Chillin with Michelle and Matt while waiting for a friend to perform. Funny story, Matt is actually from Tallahassee and an FSU grad. Go figure.
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I like this one.

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At the final venue now. Chuo Koen, or Central Park. This is the big dance of the day for the teams. If you can’t muster up the juice here, it makes for a bit of a lackluster finish.

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Everything looked a bit magical once the lights came on.

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Me sitting with my friends Tisina and Courtney. Extra points for the Yukata Courtney, even though she changed out of it after we all left ;-(

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That’s the jist of the day then. I won’t write too much more, the rest of these shots I’m just throwing up for your(hopefull) enjoyment. Adios!

Decorated trucks armed with huge speakers and sometimes humans.
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There should be a law against certain levels of cuteness.

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Wouldn’t be complete without it 😉
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So, this is a video from last year’s Yosakoi festival, but I think it does a good job of capturing the intensity of the music and the dancers. Feel free to fastforward a bit to where the camera angle gets good.

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About willisan

Born the year the Bears won the super bowl for the 1st and last time (as of yet) in Chicago, moved around a bit, lived in Central/Southern/Backwoods Japan for a while, now in Atlanta. My Interests: ・Photography ・Reading ・Sports ・Fitness ・Languages(Japanese) and many, many more!
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8 Responses to Crazy Video from Matt, and pictures from Yosakoi

  1. ljw (mom) says:

    I loved it! Very inspiring. It gave me a glimpse into why you love it there so much!

  2. portorikan says:

    Ok, on that first video. That was so freakin’ amazing. I can’t stand people who insist on using flash photography for an event though that is obviously going to be ruined by flash photography AND won’t even show up the way you see it because of the flash. Think people, think.

    Anyway, great video. I’m might have to borrow that… loved the ET tribute.

  3. angelrios says:

    Pretty awesome! So are you done over there now? Whats next?

  4. Judette Saintil says:

    wow total awesomeness. The songs in the second vid were sick. Humans can be such beautiful and mesmerizing creatures.

  5. willisan says:

    Thanks Angel. I am actually back in the states now man. I’m visiting family for now but will be leaving again in late September. Next is work/studying, studying/work!

  6. Matthew says:

    I like the song in the second video. You are now required to find it, purchase it, and send it to me. You have 3 days.

  7. Kris, THIS IS AWESOME!! I see why you stayed. These folks take their festivals seriously. Imagine the commitment of time and resources to pull this kind of thing off from the performers/parents to the organizers to the sponsors.

    Thanks for capturing this for us and THANKS to the people of Kochi City for “rocking my heart”!!!

    Me and Seacrest. . . Peace out 🙂

  8. kiloskilo says:

    Kris!! You finally got me on here, at 2 in the morning…go figure. Your pics are amazing and you’re right; those kids are too cute.

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