The Sansa Odori, competing through polished technique and beauty
The sound of nimble flutes, the smart drumming of wadaiko, and the colorful costumes garbed around the performers acting in perfect order serve to excite the audience. The Morioka Sansa Odori is a festival spotlighting the Tohoku area that attracts people with its grand scale and magnificence. Its history as a large festival is a relatively short one as it only began from 1978. However, it was originally inspired from literature that has remained from the year 1780. Because of a demon that was terrorizing the castle town of Morioka, the people prayed for salvation at Mitsuishi Shrine and when the demon was ousted, there was dancing around Mitsuishi in celebration which begat the legend. Afterwards, the Sansa dance began to be performed everywhere that led to the Morioka Sansa Odori which is gaily held as a large-scale festival. All of the local organizations vie on beauty and technique through their dances and musical accompaniment for spectacular performances. Another enjoyable feature is that every team has its own choreography and costume.
Feel the real joy by not only taking in but also taking part
The Sansa Odori is great for anyone being able to easily take part in the dancing. There is the Sansa Oherense Group in which you can participate in the parade through practice on the same day, but you have to apply by e-mail ahead of time. In that case, it is recommended to take part in Kuwawaru Sansa which is easier to get in. With no prior reservations required, you can take part in the training and then just enjoy the dancing. Instructors from traditional Sansa organizations will carefully guide you without any worries even if you have no experience. Participating and not just watching is even more enjoyable. A big plus is the rapport with the local people through dancing.