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Become a yakko

Once in a lifetime festival experience with the villagers of Tsunagi

Become a yakko once in your life

How about becoming a member of the Village of Tsunagi and participating in a festival parade?
Outsiders wanting to participate in the festival may perform as yakko or samurai, but we recommend that you try being a yakko, because it is the most fun.

Training sessions

Performing as a yakko is not easy, because they exchange their long poles during the parade by throwing them to each other.
But don't worry; we arrange training sessions for you.
In preparation for the festival, guests attend training sessions with other participants. Note that most villagers from those districts speak little to no English, but are very helpful and eager to communicate.

The first night of training begins with a meeting in which the costumes are brought from the shrine and a brief history of the tradition is described. The locals who have taken part in the festival for years become sensei (teachers) for new and less-experienced participants.
Yakko must learn a coordinated step to march and pass a pole to one another, and samurai walk along behind other participants. The sensei demonstrates and corrects errors throughout practice until the participants are confident.

During the following nights of training, the participants learn to perfect their role and become more comfortable with their sensei and other participants.

Participants take a break from practice to watch videos of previous marches to ease nerves (mistakes happen), and really understand the procession. By the final night of training, everyone is ready and excited for the festival!
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