Be Part of a Unique Once-in-a-lifetime Event: A Bon Dance Festival Live Streamed from Gujo Hachiman Japan
Be part of a unique, live, traditional Japanese bon dance cultural event here in Toronto on August 13 when we link live with Gujo Hachiman in Gifu prefecture Japan and together dance the ten famous bon dances of Gujo Odori. This bon dance is one of the three most important bon dances in Japan and is a festival with an unbroken 400 year plus history. The occasion: we’re celebrating Gujo Odori being inscribed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list!
For this special live-stream event we will join a live performance of Gujo Odori in Japan giving people here in Toronto the opportunity to dance “alongside” thousands of people as they dance until dawn in the streets of Gujo Hachiman on the first night of obon. This is truly a unique event at which everyone is welcome and is an opportunity for anyone to participate in a very important and authentic Japanese cultural event - bon dancing.
This event is as close to participating in the authentic Gujo Odori as you can get without the jet lag and is a truly exceptional chance to participate in a unique Japanese cultural heritage event as we celebrate this remarkable milestone in the long history of Gujo Odori. We will be broadcasting live video and images back to Japan so people in Gujo Hachiman can see us participate, and it’s a unique opportunity for us to be part of, and showcase, the JCCC’s 60th Anniversary Celebrations to an audience in Japan.
This event is in two parts:
Part 1: When the doors open at 10:00 am we will have free dance instruction together with a short introduction about the history of Gujo Odori prior to joining the live event at 12:00 pm
Part 2: The main event begins at 12:00 pm with an opening ceremony and welcome from the mayor of Gujo Hachiman. Dancing to the live streamed music and songs will begin. We will also have “designated dancers” to help show everyone how to dance; but remember - it’s about fun not perfection! The closing ceremony is set for 3:00 pm Toronto time, 4:00 am Japan time. As the sun rises in Japan we will award “best dancer” certificates, and everyone staying until the closing ceremony will receive an official participation certificate. The music is haunting and beautiful, so if you're not into dancing, you are of course welcome to come and listen.
Between now and August 13 we will also be running dance workshops on request for small groups so please contact us via our website listed below if you have a small group that would like to learn to dance. We are also planning a special children’s dance circle at the event to give all the children a chance to dance together and learn about bon dancing in a fun and relaxing way! You can learn more about Gujo Odori at Gujo Odori Dance Schedule (gujohachiman.com)
There will be a “Taste of Gifu Prefecture” with local favourites from Gifu prefecture together with a special “Gujo Night Market” featuring goods from and about Gujo Hachiman and Gujo.
There will also be give aways including free dance fans (uchiwa) and Gujo Odori hand towels (tenugui) for the first 500 paid admissions through the doors on the day of the event, together with other give aways awarded at the end of the dancing so be sure to plan to attend the whole afternoon.
Tickets are on sale through Eventbrite, $10.00 per person; seniors $8.00 and Children (age 12 and under) are free.
Ticket sales are online at https://gujo-odori.eventbrite.com. JCCC members can receive a special $2 discount using promo code JCCCmember2023 when buying tickets.