National

Dotonbori hopes 3,000 join Bon dance in Guinness record bid

Kyodo

The Dotonbori shopping district in Osaka is planning a Bon dance festival with 3,000 participants on Aug. 16, in a bid to break the Guinness world record for the number of such dancers performing at the same time.

The event will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Dotonbori canal’s excavation. The current record is 1,932 dancers, set in August 2001 in Motegi, Tochigi Prefecture.

The Dotonbori Bon-odori festival is taking place for the fourth year. About 1,000 people took part last year.

The venue will be the 500-meter-long promenades along the Dotonbori canal between Dotonbori Bridge and Nihon Bridge. Participants will dance along both sides of the canal and bridges for about 5 minutes.

An official Guinness World Records judge will attend the event. To break the current record, participants will have to wear yukata summer kimono as well as geta clogs or zori sandals. The event will not qualify for the record if more than 5 percent of the dancers make mistakes in the choreography, which will be posted in a video online and will be distributed via paper leaflets.

“We want to make Dotonbori a mecca of Bon dance, and the event something recognized by the world, like Carnival in Rio de Janeiro,” said Yasuo Fukuda, 56, who is in charge of the event.

It will be free of charge, but participants have to register. For more information, call the shopping district’s office at 06-6211-4542.