KOCHI--The Yosakoi Festival, featuring dance troupes performing spectacular synchronized routines in flamboyant costumes, kicked off in Kochi on Aug. 10, drawing a large number of participants clad in colorful attire.
About 18,000 dancers from 189 groups from Kochi Prefecture and other parts of Japan performed what is known as "naruko dance," set to a local folk song with naruko, or bird clappers, in their hands.
Kochi city was filled with sounds of cheers from the large crowd on hand, and loud music could be heard as dancers performed during a parade led by a float called a "jikatasha" on the first day, despite the temperature hitting 32.9 degrees.
A group of about 150 students, mainly first-year students, from a nursing program from Kochi Chuo High School, gave one of the performances.
The students practice naruko dance during class and visit nursing homes to perform as part of their charity work.
"I want to enjoy dancing with my peers," said Mahiru Hayashi, a 17-year-old student from the group.
After the two-day festival, a national contest featuring the dance will be held on Aug. 12.
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