An energetic ‘Soran dancing’ was performed at the athletic meet

By Kikki - Last updated: 日曜日, 10月 2, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

[From Ohfunato City-my stricken home town]

– East Japan Great Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster-

Akasaki Junior High School Students enjoyed annual event at the ground of other school.

The athletic meet of Akasaki Junior High School was held on October 1 not at their own school ground but at that of Ohfunato Elementary Scholl. Their athletic meet is usually held in May, but this year it has been put off because their school was flooded by the tsunami on March 11.

On the fine autumn day, all students were participated in high spirits. Hot games, such as tug-of-war and cavalry battles were demonstrated, between two groups divided as red and white teams. Prayed and thanked for reconstruction of their town, ‘Akachu Soran’ or a traditional Japanese dancing in Akasaki Junior High style with a traditional folk song ‘Soran-bushi’ was demonstrated by all students. Big cheering and clapping from their parents at the ground encouraged performers.

‘It was a good opportunity to hand down our traditional style of ‘Soran Dancing’ to 1st grade students.’ Mr. Takuto Ishibashi, the captain of the red team, looked in a sense of fulfillment.

‘We are very happy having our final athletic meet in junior high. We could create a cheerful atmosphere than before through preparation of the athletic meet and training on dancing. We really appreciate many supports from people all over Japan and abroad.’ Ms. Chihiro Sakiyama, the representative of the students’ association, looked deeply touched by their kindness.

Tsunami flooded Akasaki Junior High School


The students have no school building now, so they are forced to learn at Ohfunato Junior High School in next town. However, its school ground is now occupied by the temporary houses for tsunami victim families, so the school ground of Ohfunato Elementary School was used for their athletic meet instead.

Sōran Bushi (ソーラン節) is one of the most famous traditional songs (minyo) in Japan. It is a Japanese sea shanty that is said to have been first sung by the fishermen of Hokkaido, northern Japan.

Sōran Bushi accompanies the bon dance in many parts of Japan, and it has its own dancing styles that date back generations. The dance moves depict fishermen dragging nets, pulling ropes and carrying luggage over their shoulders.

Rough English Translation:

Oh!!! Soran, soran, soran
soran, soran, soran. (Oh, yeah!)
When we hear the jabbering of seagulls on the high seas,
we know we can’t give up our fishing lives on the ocean.

Put your backs into it! Heave, ho! Heave, ho!
(Heave, ho! Heave, ho!)

Oh!!! Soran…
Boss, I tell you, the size of this catch of herring
is different from all the others. And it’s all MINE.

Oh!!! Soran…
Even if I row four and a half metres,
I couldn’t get that girl’s attention.

Oh!!! Soran…
A flighty seagull twitters in excitement
As it sees my bare skin, glistening with ocean surf.


View Ohfunato Elementary School in a larger map

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