Shibuya Kagoshima Ohara Festival 2014

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The Shibuya Kagoshima Ohara Festival (第17回渋谷・鹿児島おはら祭 ) is a dance parade held annually in Shibuya, Tokyo in May. I saw it on May 18, 2014. About 2,200 dancers in 63 troupes danced along the Dogenzaka and Bunkamura-dori main roads from 1:20 pm to 4 pm.

They danced to four songs played repeatedly. The most famous song was Kagoshima Ohara-bushi おはら節, Kagoshima Prefecture’s most famous folk song sung since the early Edo Period. The song mentions things and scenes in Kagoshima like tobacco and the Sakurajima volcano. They also danced to the more modern Shibuya Ondo 渋谷音頭 which mentions sights like Hachiko and Dogenzaka. One of Shibuya’s official songs.

During the intermission at 2:25 pm, lively performances by young dancers were held in front of the 109 building by Young Dance Troupe ヤング踊り連 from Kagoshima and the Baton Association of Universities in Tokyo 東京都大学バトン連盟. Both were very good. They danced to two songs: Tokyo Ohara TOKYOオハラ and Chesuto! Ohara チェスト!おはら. “Chesuto” is a shout/cheer (kakegoe) from Kagoshima’s Satsuma dialect.

I couldn’t shoot all 63 dance troupes that appeared. I got to film only around 30 troupes. There were too many of them and they moved too slow. Shibuya has historical ties with Kagoshima, and so this festival is held here.

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