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Photo report: The 25th Yosakoi Soran Festival - enthusiastic performances!

“Yosakoi Soran Festival” was held from June 8th to 12th in 2016, and 28,000 people gathered to dance from in and out Hokkaido including overseas. 2016 was the 25th anniversary, and celebration ceremony was held. This article reports the expression of dancers with photographs! 

YOSAKOIソーラン祭りの華やかな衣装▲Audiences enjoyed dancers’ gorgeous costumes.


The festival started in 1992, just ten teams and 1,000 people

“Yosakoi Soran Festival” began in 1992 with just ten teams, 1,000 dancers, and 200,000 audiences. Today, it has become one of the biggest events in Hokkaido, with 30,000 dancers and two million audiences. In 2016, the 25th anniversary year, 280 teams and 28,000 people were involved as dancers.


Who was the first prize winner of 2016? Here are the winners’ performances! 

Enjoy the photographs of performances by dancers of “Yosakoi Soran Festival” in 2016!

第25回YOSAKOIソーラン大賞「笑゛(じょう)」▲YOSAKOI Soran first prize went to the team “Jou” from Aichi prefecture. (Photo provided by Yosakoi Soran Festival Organizing Committees)

準YOSAKOIソーラン大賞「新琴似天舞龍神」▲YOSAKOI Soran second prize (The Sapporo Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Award) went to “Shinkotonitenburyujin” team.

優秀賞「北昴」▲The award of excellence, team “Kitasubaru” used drums and was very acrobatic.

優秀賞「CHIよREN北天魁」▲The award of excellence, team “Chiyorenbokutenkai”. Over 100 dancers came from Chiba prefecture. 

優秀賞「平岸天神」▲The award of excellence, “Hiragishitenjin” is the team who won the first prize in 2015, having experience of being in Yosakoi Soran Festival for 24 times.

優秀賞「北海道大学”縁”」▲The award of excellence, “Hokkaido University ‘En’” run around the stage, very energetic this year, too! 

優秀賞「夢想漣えさし」▲The award of excellence, “Yumesoranesashi” is the winner of the first prize in 2014.

「井原水産&北星学園」▲A huge herring fishing boat appeared in the performance of  “Iharasuisan & Hokuseigakuen”! They expressed strong fishermen and raging waves.

平岸会場「Crew鍵“ルーキー”」▲Above is team “Crew key ‘rookie’”. Many audiences cheered from the streets in Hiragishi site. 

旗士たちも活躍▲Not only the dancers but the person who waves the flag also liven up performances. The contest for flag wavers was held as the 25th-anniversary celebration. 

YOSAKOIに参加した子どもたち▲Children also performed enthusiastically although strong wind! The flag waver seemed very hard with huge flags.

“Yosakoi Soran Festival” is going to be held in early June in 2017. If you want to be involved, look for dancer recruitment in the official website. The official website also supports to build teams. To those dancers who participated in this event from in and outside of Japan, especially those of you who came from far away, I assume there needed a lot of work for transportation and organizing the schedule of your work. Thank you for your hard work! 

Related Links

- Yosakoi Soran Festival official website
  • Photo report: The 25th Yosakoi Soran Festival - enthusiastic performances!

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Eri Makino