Miss Sansa Dancers Chosen for 2024 Festival

The Yomiuri Shimbun
From left front row: Kaho Kamihira and Sayuri Otsubo; Back row: Kiko Kawamura, Kanako Hironai and Ruriko Sotoyama

MORIOKA — Dancers for this year’s “Miss Sansa Odori” have been decided. The final judging of the five who will lead the Morioka Sansa Odori Festival parade was held at Plaza Odette in Morioka on May 11.

Applicants for the position must be women who are single and between the ages of 18 and 28. They must live in Morioka or neighboring cities and towns. This year, there were 64 applicants — 16 more than last year — and the 12 who passed the preliminary screening went on to the final judging that was open to the public.

The five dancers are Iwate University student Kaho Kamihira, 20; association worker Sayuri Otsubo, 23; company employees Kiko Kawamura, 24, and Kanako Hironai, 25; and Iwate Medical University sixth-year student Ruriko Sotoyama, 23.

“It was a complete surprise and honestly I am happy,” said Kamihira, who has never danced Sansa before. “I want to do my best so that all five of us can dance together in harmony.”

They will begin practicing in June in preparation for their debut performance at the end of July at an event at Morioka’s Mitsuishi Shrine. After the festival in August, they will continue to promote Morioka and Iwate tourism in Japan and abroad.