Miyagi: Yosakoi dance festival returns after 4 years

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Participants dance at the Michinoku Yosakoi Festival in Aoba Ward, Sendai, on Oct. 8.

SENDAI — The Michinoku Yosakoi Festival was held on Oct. 8-9 in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. The festival, held for the first time since 2018, featured teams of dancers performing in four venues around the city.

The festival began in 1998, but was canceled in 2019 due to Typhoon No. 19. The novel coronavirus led to the event being canceled for a further two years. This year, about 2,000 people in 76 teams from across the nation took part in the festival. All participants were required to be vaccinated three times.

Each team danced to original music that was created by remixing local folk songs. At the Kotodai Park Civic Plaza, dancers in orange, pink and other colorful costumes gave strong performances with naruko clappers in their hands. The audience applauded as they heard the cheerful shouts of “Yoiyassa!”

One performer, a 35-year-old office worker from Kochi Prefecture, said: “The audience in Sendai gathered at the venue even before the event started, and I could tell they were looking forward to the event. They watched the dance for a long time and enjoyed it very much.”

A part-time employee from Aoba Ward, Sendai, who watched the performances said: “There were young dancers and it was very lively. The arrangements of the songs were contemporary and cool.”