Aug 6, 2009
On Sunday, July 26, 2009, seventy students from APU joined an estimated 1,700 Beppu local citizens from 26 business, social and civic groups in a synchronized performance of traditional dance during the NOURYOU ONDO Festival at the Spa Beach, part of the Beppu Summer Evening Festival held over four days.
The APU dancers trained for three consecutive nights at the Oita International Exchange Center under the watchful eye of expert lady Japanese traditional dancers.
On the day, APM Assistant Professor Michael Angelo CORTEZ of the Philippines, who participated in the dance this year, gave his impressions on the dance and the importance of participating,"Two hours of continuous dancing in Japanese traditional wooden shoes tests one's resolve, but this event is truly a must-do for all who wish to say `I lived in Beppu,'" The dance performance was followed by a breathtaking, 60-minute fireworks extravaganza capped the evening's festivities.
According to Beppu folklore, the dances – known as Yacchiki, Onsen Odori and Beppu Ondo – are meant to welcome back the spirits of ancestors returning for a visit to their old home during the Bon period and see them off again. "Residents pride themselves in showcasing their culture to both the local community and to the many international visitors who come to our beautiful Beppu, known as the hot spring capital of the world," explained a staff member of the Cultural and International Affairs Division of the Beppu City Hall.
Started over three decades ago (in 1977), the yearly event is organized by the Beppu Summer Evening Festival Executive Committee and the Beppu Association for the Promotion of Festivals both chaired by Hiroshi HAMADA, Beppu City Mayor.
Please click here for more information on future events at the Beppu City official website: