Yosakoi Festival: As Surabaya Loves Japanese


The annual event of Surabaya at each middle of summer is Yosakoi Festival, a colosal Japanese dance competition which is performed by Japanholics communities in East Java. This year, approximately twenty communities performed on Bungkul Park, each communities send a team of 20-40 dancers. The main characteristic of Yosakoi dance is dancing by shaking naruko, a wood percussion.

My favorite performer. I like their costumes. Black-and-white nuance make them sexy. Actually there is a Japanese calligraphy on their white robe, but it's unseen on this picture.

The Yosakoi Festival has been held in Surabaya, annually ever since 2002, as commitment of sister cities between Surabaya and Kochi (Japan). In the origin city, Kochi, there can be 150 dancers in a team, and they dance by walking around city park through mall.

Surabaya can’t imitate the festival grossly, coz 1) it’s hard to dance around from the Heroes Monument to Grand City Mall, :mrgreen: 2) 150 are dancing on the street? It’s gonna be a heavy traffic jam and making lotta dirty swears. So Surabaya modifies the festival by holding it only in a city park. Each team dance on the field of Bungkul Park, in about three minutes duration with a same song, then they are gonna perform around the park.

Another favorite performance of mine is the team of SMP 1 Surabaya. Beautiful astonishing costumes in reddish orange white!

I attended the festival this morning with my hunk, and I enjoyed every performers. Instead imitating Japanese like copycats, most of them preferred in their own styles, such as dressing in hijabs, dancing like Serimpi, and some even ended their performances by a-la-cheerleaders pyramid formation. Hope I can watch the festival again by next year. Incredible!

All photos by Eddy Fahmi.

That's me watching the festival πŸ™‚