““Gujo Odori” has been sung and danced for over 400 years in castle town Gujo Hachiman. It is said to have begun during the Edo period, when the lord of the castle encouraged people to gather near the castle and dance the bon odori danced in villages throughout the province without regard for social status, as a way to ease class tensions between samurai, farmers, artisans, and merchants.
From that historical background, anyone can freely participate in “Gujo Odori,” both locals and visitors. It features dance steps that anyone can easily learn. A small castle is moved to the streets or placed in the center of a plaza, and people dance in a circle around it.
This festival was designated a national important intangible folk culture asset in 1996.
Extending over 30 nights from mid-July to mid-September, this festival attracts over 300,000 dancers throughout the period.
Enjoy the light-footed dancing and cheerful music!”