Soran bushi

Soran bushi

The soran bushi is perhaps the most famous of Japanese folk dances. Usually accompanied by the Bon dance as part of the Obon festival of the dead, the soran bushi is a dance that’s meant to encourage local fishermen in their catch.

The movements in the dance includes scenes of crashing waves, fishermen pulling in nets and ropes and lifting luggage. The dance is taught as part of Japanese school curriculum.

During regular intervals of the dance, the words: “DOKKOISHO!” “DOKKOISHO!” “SORAN!” “SORAN!” Are called. Those words were used in the past to encourage the fisherman during their work.

Below is a video of a school group performing the dance on stage.

To learn the Soran Bushi dance, you can follow the simple step by step instructions from the video below

Soran Bushi Lyrics

Japanese (Rōmaji):

Yāren sōran sōran
Sōran sōran sōran (hai hai!)
Oki de kamome no naku koe kikeba
Funanori kagyō wa yamerarenu choi

Yasa e en ya sa dokkoisho
(a dokkoisho, dokkoisho!)

Yāren sōran…
Oyaji tairyō da mukashi to chigau
toreta nishin wa ore no mono choi

Yāren sōran…
Ichi-jō-go-shaku no ro o kogu fune mo
horeta ano go nya te mo choi

Yāren sōran…
Tama no suhada ga shibuki ni nurerya
uwaki kamome ga mite sawagu choi

Rough English Translation:

Oh!!! Soran, soran, soran
soran, soran, soran. (yes, yes!)
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.



Category: HistoryInterestingVideos

Tags: danceSoran bushiTraditional

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Duncan Sensei

Article by: Duncan Sensei

Steven Duncan Sensei is the DuncanSensei from! having lived in japan for over 2 years he's gained a love for the country and it shows in his teaching and photographic work.