The 6th Gujo Dance Workshop is held

The International Student Center held the 6th Gujo Dance Workshop at the Yanagido Kaikan building, Gifu University on May 24, 2017. 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 30 people including international and Japanese students, teaching and administrative staff joined the workshop.

The workshop is held as part of exchange promotion activities between Gifu University and Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture. Gifu University and Gujo City signed the agreement for the promotion of academia-government cooperation in March 19, 2012. Ever since the university and the 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.

Before the opening of the workshop, members of an international exchange support group, "Sepia Kai" (Mino City, Gifu) 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. In the 6th Gujo Dance Workshop, students from China, Ghana, Malaysia, Peru, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand and the United States took part in and enjoyed dancing with the Japanese students.

Mr. Mitsuo 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 clumsy at first, but they soon became good at dancing and moved well to music. In the competition to determine the outstanding dancers, four international students 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 6th Gujo Dance Workshop marked another great success this year.

Group photo with "Kawasaki" pose
Students practicing "Kawasaki" dance
Girl students in kimono
Instructor and boy students


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