Aomori Pref. Local Performing Arts Festival Attracts 400 People; Performances Include Traditional ‘Wild Horse’ Dance

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Dancers perform Arama in Imabetsu, Aomori Prefecture, on Feb. 24.

IMABETSU, Aomori — A festival was held that featured local performing arts for a performance in Imabetsu, Aomori Prefecture, on Feb. 24, attracting about 400 people.

The first local performing arts festival, “Tsugaru Peninsula Sakiccho Kyodo Geino Sai,” was organized by local volunteers who formed an organizing committee with the aim of fostering successors to the arts that are in danger of dying out due to the declining population.

Festivalgoers enjoyed food and drink while watching performances of the town’s traditional Arama dance and the Aomori Nebuta Festival. In Arama — written in kanji as “wild horse” — members of the Arama preservation groups paired a man dressed as a horse with a woman holding the reins, and they danced energetically to re-create the wild movements of horses.

“The dynamics of the dances differ depending on the region, which is impressive,” an office worker from Aomori said as she watched the event with her family. “With a change in the participating performers, I hope the festival can continue in the future.”