2015 / Nisei Week: Resurrected ten centuries old dance to play, Aug 22, 23


Daidengaku dancers perform on a street. (Courtesy of the Japan Foundation)


The Japan Foundation invites extraordinary dance group “daidengaku” to Nisei Week on Sunday, Aug. 23. Dressed in colorful authentic costumes brought from Japan, these dancers will perform energetic, rhythmic and totally unique Japanese folk performing art.

Originally, the term “dengaku” referred to the rice-planting festivities observed throughout Japan in which rural residents performed traditional dances.

From the 11th to the 16th centuries, these dances were introduced in Kyoto and other cities, where they were well received and enjoyed great popularity.

Nevertheless, over time, these dances virtually disappeared until Mannojo Nomura (1959-2004) resurrected them when he created a more widely appealing and more contemporary form of these dances.

Since then, “daidengaku” has appeared in many historical television dramas and has been performed at prestigious events all over the world, including the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC in 2012.

On Sunday, Aug. 23 in Little Tokyo, Daidengaku dancers will appear at the JACCC Plaza from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, and as a program of the Nisei Week Ondo and Closing Ceremony on First Street from 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm.

Daidengaku performance is open to the public, and free admission.


For this occasion, the Japan Foundation will hold a fun workshop on Aug. 22 for those interested in learning this energetic and unique Japanese folk dance from the performers themselves.

No prior dance experience is necessary to participate. Some of the participants will even have the chance to wear authentic costumes and join the performers at Nisei Week, Aug. 23.

Saturday, Aug. 22, 1:00 PM

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
5700 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Admission: Free
RSVP Required:  Click here to RSVP