I wrote a few days ago about the Bon Odori festival on our base last summer and about how I was going to be participating this year! We have already started our practices and even went to Tokyo last weekend to participate in a cultural exchange.
Mrs. Bag-O and I in Tokyo
The cropped, Instagrammed version of the above pic :)
We had professional folk dance musicians explain their instruments to us
The professional singer talking to us about her "shamisen." It kind of looked like a banjo to me.
We had been practicing three different dances prior to this event. The Japanese people at the event showed us the dances and then we all danced together in a big circle. They also taught us two other dances which were much more difficult than the ones we had been practicing. We also taught them an American style dance (which was really more like a cheer) to "Call Me Maybe."
It was a lot of fun and we were glad that we went, but if we are being perfectly honest, it went just a tad bit too long. There was a point in the afternoon where it was obvious we had done everything we had come to do, but they didn't want to end early, so they added some filler. At that point, I think they should have just let us leave a little bit early.
All in all, I am glad I went. It was fun to get dressed up in our yukatas and to meet some of the other ladies who are participating in these events with us. I am looking forward to our next performance at the end of July!