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Entertainment takes to the streets of Ibaraki

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Staff Writer

Street performances, known as daidōgei in Japan, are usually performed at random, so to see many shows all at once is a rare opportunity. The Hitachi Kokusai Daidogei in Ibaraki has invited 30 artists from Japan, France, China and England for a wide variety of performances, all taking place this weekend.

There will be standards such as juggling, balloon shows and pantomimes, but also more elaborate acts, such as that by Julot from France, who performs tricks while balanced on a thin, 15.5-meter-tall pole; traditional kyogeki Chinese acrobatics; and aerial pole dancing. Music will also be performed, including that played on the shamisen and marimba, as well as by jazz groups.

Due to this huge number of performers, the festival takes place at various locations — Hitachi Ginza Mall, Mai Mall, Maenouchi Jido Park, Patio Mall, Hitachi Civic Center Shintoshi Hiroba and Hitachi Ekimae Hiroba around Hitachi Station on May 10, and along Yokappe-dori, Suzuran-dori, Anzu-namiki-dori, Taga-Ekimae-dori, Taga Shimin Plaza Hiroba and Taga Ekimae Hiroba around Hitachi-Taga station on May 11. Both locations will also host different special programs: a “Party in the MoonLight” on May 10 and the “Finale Parade” on May 11.

Hitachi Kokusai Daidogei takes place at Hitachi on May 10 and at Taga on May 11, both in Ibaraki Pref. Participation is free. For more information, call 0294-24-7711 or visit www.civic.jp/daidogei.