The 5th Gujo Dance Workshop

On May 11, 2016, the International Student Center held the 5th Gujo Dance Workshop at the Yanagido Kaikan building. The Gujo Bon Dance is one of the traditional local performing arts and is designated as a significant intangible folk cultural asset in Japan. Around 40 people including international and Japanese students, teaching and administrative staff joined the workshop.

The workshop is annually held as part of exchange promotion activities between Gifu University and Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture. Gifu University and Gujo City have been enjoying a long, thriving relationship through a "Summer School Gujo Program" under which many international students at Gifu University stay at local residence in the city. Gifu University and Gujo City also signed the agreement for the promotion of academia-government cooperation in March 19, 2012.

Before the opening of 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. 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. Mistuo Endo and Ms. Rie Kumazawa from Gujo Hachiman Town, home to Gujo Dance were kind enough to visit Gifu University to teach students how to dance. At the beginning of the workshop, the two instructors briefly explained about Gujo City and Gujo Dance, then the participants practiced two dances called, "Kawasaki" and "Harukoma" both of which are the most popular dances in Gujo Dance.

Some students looked nervous and their movement seemed a little odd at first, but they soon became good at dancing and moved well to music.

In the competition to determine the outstanding dancers, six international students from South Korea, Sweden, China, Malaysia and Myanmar were chosen by the instructors as the "best performers" and the instructors presented them with small gifts. All the participants were later handed out the certificate of participation in the workshop from the instructors.

At the end of the workshop, all joined a commemorative photo-taking session and the 5th Gujo Dance Workshop marked another great success this year.

"Kawasaki" dance
"Harukoma" dance
Six best performers and two instructors (left: Mr. Endho, right: Ms. Kumazawa)
Group Photo: everyone poses for "Kawasaki"


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