Hanagasa Odori

Hanagasa Odori

Varies
One of the largest festivals in the Tohoku region of Japan, Hanagasa Odori is held in Yamagata on August 5-7. Thousands of dancers holding hanagasa, which are hats made out of bamboo or rush and decorated with flowers, dance through the city while spectators cheer them on. The rhythmic pulse of the hanagasa songs keeps the dancers moving together as they march down the city streets yelling "Yassho! Makasho!" and twirling their hats to the left, right, up, and down.
The Hanagasa Festival held in Kyoto on October 9 features a procession of people holding large umbrellas decorated with flowers, but the overall effect is similar.
CONTACTS:
The Yamagata Tourism Information Center
1-1-1, Kajo Central
Jonan-machi
Yamagata, 990-8580 Japan
81-2-3647-2333; fax: 81-2-3646-6333
www.yamagatakanko.com/english/index.html
SOURCES:
IllFestJapan-1993, p. 100
JapanFest-1965, p. 195