The Fourth Gujo Dance Workshop

International Student Center held the fourth Gujo Dance*1 Workshop at Yanagido Kaikan Hall on Wednesday, May 13th 2015. Around 50 people joined the workshop including international and Japanese students and the university staff. This workshop is held every year as a part of exchange activities with Gujo City*2. Gifu University and Gujo City have a partnership agreement and under this agreement, various exchanges are undertaken such as summer school programs for international students. "

Prior to the workshop, members of an international exchange support group, "Sepia Kai", helped the international students get dressed in summer kimono they chose. They tried their hands at dancing wearing wooden clogs. Everything was the first-ever experience for them. International students in colorful summer kimono were busy with taking pictures with one another and having great fun even before the start of the workshop.

Mr. Mitsuo Endoh from Gujo Hachiman Town, home to Gujo Dance was kind enough to visit Gifu University to teach students how to dance. At the beginning of the workshop, he briefly explained about Gujo City and the Gujo Dance, then the performances of drums, shamisen strings and a flute were demonstrated. These music instruments are played for traditional dances in Japan. Mr. Endoh showed the students how to dance "Kawasaki" and "Harukoma," both of which are the most popular dances in the Gujo Dance. Mr. Endoh coached the participants in their steps and body movement.

Everyone looked nervous and their movement seemed a little odd at first, but they soon became good at dancing and moved well to music. They also beat the drums so that they could release stresses, and they worked up a good sweat during the workshop.

In the competition to determine the outstanding dancers, Mr. Endoh chose six international students and presented them with small gifts such as cloth bags and "tenugui" towels. In addition, all the participants were handed out their certificates of completion of Gujo Dance. At the end of the workshop, all joined a commemorative photo-taking session. Everyone enjoyed Gujo Dance to their fullest. The Fourth Gujo Dance Workshop marked another great success this year.

*1 Gujo Dance: a significant intangible folk cultural asset in Japan
*2 Gujo City: the middle region of Gifu Prefecture

Practicing "Kawasaki" dance
Beat a drum
International students dancing in circle
Group photo session


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