Cheerleading In Japan (from Ouendan to Western-style)

cheerleader_waseda

The above picture is Ouendan, Japanese-style cheerleading.

However, notice the pom-poms in the background. Western-style is getting increasingly popular.

Here is a video of Ouendan in its early days:

Here is one of the awesome view of Ouendan:

In Ouendan the cheerleaders are allowed to taunt and cheer the opposing team.  Usually this is peaceful, but fights have broken out.  I love watching Ouendan — I have a thing for those black uniforms.

I guess I like jackets with high collars and buttons down the front.  I like of european military uniforms for this reason.

Slowly, the western-style of pom-pom and girls is growing popular and combining with Ouendan.  And that isn’t a bad thing.  Look what it’s giving us:

This post started because I wanted coffee.

On the way to coffee, I came across a festival taking place in the city centers.

I wanted my camera, but I had left it at home. So no photos.

Many of the performers and festival volunteers had on tabi and yukata. They carried the heavy palanquin’s called Mikoshi. When their groups needed rest, they wheeled out carts to set them on.

It was the first sunny day in five days straight of rain.  Huge crowds turned out to watch.

Crossing to the other side of town brought me to the “parade” section where the Junior High School and High School groups had their marching bands out. Then came the cheerleaders. It felt like I was back in the states, they’ve so perfectly mimicked everything they loved about the western look and are in the process of “Japanafying” it.

I enjoy when cultures absorb pieces from each other and make something new out of it.

Twirling batons and shaking sparkly pom-poms, the girls when parading by.  A symptom of how large cheerleading is getting in Japan.

Did you know that the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have long been loved in Japan.  Yes, they have a following.  One large enough that Japanese women flight to the States in the hopes of becoming one.  It’s even on the reality TV show “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders”.

I expect more of this is in Japan’s future:

 

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