Nippon Domannaka Festival, known as Domatsuri, is one of the largest dance festivals in Japan and unfolds annually in mid-summer Nagoya, at the very center of Japan, in late August. This festival started in 1999 when a group of students started to mimic the “Naruko Dance”, a modern variation of a traditional dancing style, characterized by the use of noisy wooden clappers once used to scare parasite birds from the rice fields. Now, it has become a large-scale event welcoming about 1.8 million visitors during the 3 days of the festival.
“Zero Audience = All Participants” is the unique concept of this festival, meaning that everybody, participant or spectator, is welcome to join the dancing. Groups of dancers, some with hundreds, take turns in the stage, following some few and simple rules, one of them requiring that all dancers hold “narukos” in their hands. The rest is pure fun and amazement, until the climax of the festival, called “So-Odori”, in which both participants and spectators dance joyfully together. In the 2010 edition, the “So-Odori” participation was so massive, it got registered on the Guinness World Records for most people dancing with “narukos” simultaneously, at the exact number of 9,481 dancers.
In the Angel Park located at the north side of the main stage, a food court with lots of shops offering local food opens for 3 days. Apart from Nagoya specialties, local gourmet from all over Japan can also be found.