Kochi prefecture’s Yosakoi Matsuri is the original festival of all the Yosakoi Matsuri held nationwide. This festival was first held right after World War II by Kochi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to get through the recession. A vehicle with audio equipment is at the lead of the procession of dancers with Naruko (originally a tool to drive away birds that feed crop plants) in their hands as percussion. Yosakoi Matsuri is a kind of free dance, which can be arranged as you like as long as it follows a basic rule. Also, their costumes can be a traditional Happi or Kimono, of course, but can be arranged into a modern way if they want. The performances of 20,000 dancers are very energetic and dynamic, and you’ve got to see it. It’s worth viewing.
The Eve of Yosakoi with Fireworks Show on August 9th
Yosakoi Matsuri has 20,000 dancers with Naruko in their hands and its gallery of 1,000,000 people every year. On its eve, August 9th, the previous year’s award winning teams perform on the stage to return their trophies and flags. With the audience already excited, 4,000 fireworks will get you more excited!
Peak Performance on Aug 10th and 11th
The main festival is for the dancers of the present year. One condition of Yosakoi Matsuri is that they dance and move forward sounding a Naruko. That’s it. As long as they keep this rule, any performances are OK. The costumes of each team are also something to see. There are 16 sites where they perform, depending on the time and the types of performances to compete or to show. You can mark out a spot of your choice.
Ottesuji Honbu Kyoenjo (Main Competition Site): This is the biggest one of the 16 sites and is the main venue.
（Source：hayabusa’s photo blog）
Chuo-koen Kyoenjo (competition site): This place has a large stage for dance performances.
Obiyamachi Enbujo (show site): The show place is Obiyamachi Arcade, which is 550 m long east-west and vehicle-free during the show.
Last Day for Nationwide Contest and Finale
On the final day of the festival, they compete for the national championship on four sites. The local winning teams from Kochi prefecture and the teams from all over Japan perform their best performances to get the championship. And at the finale, the winning team shows their dance at their best, which is impressive and touching.
Specialty Dish Katsuo-no-tataki (skin-roasted bonito) on Dry Straw Fire
Kochi prefecture faces the sea, has a mild climate, and is abundant with seafood. Katsuo-no-tataki (skin-roasted bonito) is its specialty. Only the surface of bonito is roasted by dry straw fire to smell nice and is thickly sliced. It perfectly matches a local sake. You can be in seventh heaven to have it with sake and with the afterglow of festival excitement.