Japanese Bon Dancing






It’s finally summer and in Japan that means summer festivals! Summer festivals translate to food, fireworks, and bon dancing. In order for us to prepare, my university decided to teach the foreign students a few set bon dances.

Our teacher was from Gujo Hachiman, which has the biggest bon dance festival in the area. Their festival lasts for two months. On the official celebration day they have an all night bon dance. No one sleeps and everyone stays up and dances in celebration.

We all got dressed up in yukatas, which are summer kimonos that are worn to the festivals. The girls got to chose from a variety of colors. The mens yukatas are not as brightly colored. At the end we took pictures with a katana, or sword.

As we learned the dances the teacher went around and chose the four best dancers, two girls and two boys. I was one of them! At the end we all received a certificate stating that we learned bon dance. He also invited us all to the Guji Hachiman bon dance festival!