Every year on the first Saturday of August, thousands of people gather to witness Wakayama’s Kishu Dance - ‘Bundara' performance. This year will mark the performance’s 48th year running!
Taking place in front of the city’s most well-known symbol, Wakayama Castle, more than 50 teams, including over 5000 individuals will be participating in the dance, which processes through the streets as an enormous-scale parade. On the day of the performance, spectators are also welcome to join in!
The ‘Bundara’ chant is said to represent the heroic feats of an Edo era merchant, Kinokuniya Bunzaemon, known for having set sail on notoriously rough seas (‘Bun’ comes from the name ‘Bunzaemon’, and ‘dara’ can mean ‘reckless’ or ‘careless’ in Japanese). Another theory as to the name’s origin claims that Bunzaemon repeatedly said ‘bundara!’ in reference to himself. The uplifting chant is also said to be associated with the beauty and vigour of the Kuroshio Current, which flows close to Kishu in the south of Japan.
The dance itself was inaugurated in 1969 to commemorate the municipal government’s 80th anniversary, in the hopes that it would encourage a sense of solidarity among citizens whilst reviving an interest in folk entertainment, along with the traditional notion of love for one’s hometown.
【Date & time】Saturday, 6th August 2016 16：50～21：00 (approx)
【Venue】Wakayama Castle vicinity