Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Traditional dance

When the children at our school reach the fourth grade they have to perform a traditional dance that was originally started in the 16th century as part of a ritual to safely send warriors off to war (or something like that anyway....). The dance was not performed for many years, but the school decided it was an important thing to try and preserve and is now part of the curriculum. I find the dance itself pretty long and boring but I think it is great that they are trying to continue on with the tradition when so much of Japan is losing a lot of their traditional culture. Members of the community come to teach the students and there are three main roles - the drummers/dancers, the bamboo flute players and the bell ringers. The costumes are rather complicated and today was the "dress rehearsal" before the big performance at the sports day so as many parents as possible were asked to come and help to get everyone into their appropriate clothing. It was definitely an experience.... I still have no idea how to dress Emily, but I'm guessing that no one else does either so we will all end up asking the teachers to do it! It was SOOOOO hot that by the time everyone was in their outfits two children had already been taken to the sick room and were recovering with icepacks. Everyone else managed to make it through the double rehearsal, but were definitely happy to get changed at the end! Here's hoping Sunday is a very cloudy day.....


  1. What a fantastic experience for your daughter. Is that her entire grade in the last photo?

  2. I think that's great that they're trying to hold onto the traditional stuff too. Something to pass on is pretty important. I like that your school does this.

    Okay, I'll be hoping for a nice cool day for your undokai, but no rain for your guys. Lots of nice breezes so the kids stay cool. : )