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JOI Support staff and manager.

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Dance in Japan

Japan is not a country well-known for its dancing. There are several traditional dances that are popular around the country especially the festival dances and cultural dance performances. But it is rare for ordinary people with no training to engage in dancing as a past time.

Recent times have seen an increase in the popularity of modern dances. There are numerous dance schools in cities all around the country which teach hip-hop, ballroom dancing, ballet, and jazz dance among others. This has led to a number of dance recitals and exhibitions being held at public and private venues all year round.

n this weekly Japanese learning blog, Yuki Kamiyama, one of the Japanese teachers at JOI online school talks about dance in Japan and especially one new dance that is set to make world headlines in the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

You can read the blog and learn new Japanese vocabulary and Kanji as well as listen to and watch the video to practice your Japanese fluency.





みなさんはダンスは好きですか。 日本では、2012年から小中学校の体育でダンスが必須化されました。ダンスを通して友達とのコミュケーションを深め、自分の体で表現できるようになることが目的だそうです。ヒップホップを習う学校もあります。チアダンスは女子生徒に人気の部活です。 また、1996年に公開された映画「Shall we dance?」をきっかけに社交ダンスブームになり、今も楽しむ人は多いです。



最近ではオリンピックのPRのために「東京五輪音頭2020」が新しく作られました。 東京2020組織委員会のホームページではミュージックビデオや振り付けの動画も見られます。 みなさんも日本のダンスを楽しんでみてください。

To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video. 


みなさんはダンスは好(す)きですか。 日本(にほん)では、2012年(ねん)から小中学校(しょうちゅうがっこう)の体育(たいいく)でダンスが必須化(ひっすか)されました。ダンスを通(とお)して友達(ともだち)とのコミュケーションを深(ふか)め、自分(じぶん)の体(からだ)で表現(ひょうげん)できるようになることが目的(もくてき)だそうです。ヒップホップを習(なら)う学校(がっこう)もあります。チアダンスは女子生徒(じょしせいと)に人気(にんき)の部活(ぶかつ)です。 また、1996年(ねん)に公開(こうかい)された映画(えいが)「Shall we dance?」をきっかけに社交(しゃこう)ダンスブームになり、今(いま)も楽(たの)しむ人(ひと)は多(おお)いです。



最近(さいきん)ではオリンピックのPRのために「東京五輪音頭(とうきょうごりんおんど)2020」が新(あた)しく作(つく)られました。 東京(とうきょう)2020組織委員会(そしきいいんかい)のホームページではミュージックビデオや振り付け(ふりつけ)の動画(どうが)も見(み)られます。 みなさんも日本(にほん)のダンスを楽(たの)しんでみてください。


Do you like to dance? In Japan, from 2012 dance has become required for P.E class in elementary schools. The aim is to get the kids to deepen their communication and friendship, and to learn how to express themselves with their own bodies. Some schools learn Hip Hop. And cheerleading dance is a popular club choice for female students. From the impetus brought about from the movie “Shall we dance” which came out in 1996, ballroom dancing became a trend and a lot of people are still enjoying it today.

But in Japan, dancing is not a usual thing. There is no custom of dancing at parties or weddings. We are not good at dancing and a lot of Japanese people feel embarrassed to dance in front of others.

But even those Japanese people who are not good at dancing can dance the Bon Odori dance. You dance the same pattern of dance steps during the song and repeat this over and over. So that even if it's your first ever song, you can learn to dance to it quickly. It doesn't matter if anyone is good or bad at it. Everyone gets into a circle around a Yagura and dances.

Recently, the “Tokyo Gorin Ondo 2020” was recently created for the Olympic PR. You can watch the music video showing the choreography on the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee official homepage. Please watch this and enjoy Japanese dance.


社交ダンス(しゃこうだんす)ballroom dancing



盆踊り(ぼんおどり)Bon dance

やぐらを囲う(やぐらをかこう)around a yagura


組織委員会(そしきいいんかい)organizing committee



Hajimemashite, my name is Yuki Kamiyama. I live in Tokyo with my family (husband and two children).

My hobbies are reading books and watching movies. It doesn't matter what genre, I really enjoy and get stimulated by coming into contact with worlds that I do not yet know.

Why did you decide to study Japanese ? Was it for work, or for a hobby ? Or was it travel to Japan ? I would like to stand beside you and help you realize your hopes as you state, “I want to say this in Japanese ! I want to learn !” I will support you as much as I possibly can to get you to achieve your goals.

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Guest Tuesday, 26 October 2021