Wakasu Zanzaka Odori

Dressed in colorful costumes and hats decorated with flowers the Wakasu Zanzaka dancers move to the rhythm of the drums and present an old fashioned, but graceful dance. The dancers move while playing the drums and present a unique style of dance called Suwari Odori (dancing while sitting). Another name for this dance is “Hime Odori” or princess dance due to its graceful nature. The dance is presented every year on August 16th at the Mihashira Shrine in the Wakasu area. It has been established as cultural property by Hyogo Prefecture.

According to a copy of Ujigami Sairei Odoriuta published in 1838, the dance was taught to the young people of the Yamato Province in order to request help from the gods, due to a serious illness that was spreading at the time. It was recorded that the village began to thrive, and the number of villagers also increased afterwards.

The dance is performed by 4 to 7 taiko drummers, 2 people with uchiwa fans and 6 to 7 main dancers.

The dancers wear a collared kimono with a hakama (traditional Japanese clothing), a taiko is held along the waist, a shaded hat made of bamboo, paper and flowers are worn, a gohei (wooden wand used in Shinto rituals) made of Japanese rice paper called hanshi is also worn and a Japanese fan called uchiwa is tied around the back finally the dancers wear Zoori or Japanese style sandals on bare feet. Towards the end the dancers rip apart the uchiwa and hand out the ripped pieces to the crowd. The bamboo frame that is part of the costume is placed in the daikon radish fields and is used to ward off bugs.

Spots detail

  • Address: Sansha Shrine Oyacho Wakasu, Yabu City
  • Tel: 079-663-1515
  • Time of Year: August


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